Hundreds of people of many nationalities held a march and rally in Tokyo on Saturday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as protesting against what they said was brutal police treatment of a Kurdish man who says he was stopped while driving on May 22, dragged from his car and shoved to the ground, leaving him with bruises.
The incident was captured on video by the man's acquaintance and posted on Twitter. There was a protest over the incident in Shibuya on May 30.
Saturday's rally drew a bigger crowd, protesting against police brutality in Japan and also to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement which has been gaining momentum in the United States and around the world for the past week. Protests were also held Saturday in South Korea and Australia.
The Black Lives Matter movement erupted after George Floyd, a black man, died in handcuffs on May 25 while a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck even after he pleaded for air and stopped moving.
"I want to show that there's racism in Japan now," said 17-year-old high school student Wakaba, who declined to give her family name.
She and her friend, Moe, marching in their school uniforms, held a sign saying: "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention".
"No justice, no peace, no racist police," the crowd chanted outside Shibuya Station.
“Even if we are far apart, we learn of everything instantly on social media,” Taichi Hirano, one of the organizers, shouted to the crowd.
“Can we really dismiss it all as irrelevant?” he asked, stressing that Japanese are joining others raising their voices against what he called “systematic discrimination.”© Thomson Reuters/AP