Sun, Apr 24, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Chinese, S Korean expats rally against Japanese militarism


The wave of anti-Japan protests reached New York Friday when about 500 Chinese and South Korean residents held a demonstration opposing Tokyo's demand for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

The protest took place on a street near UN headquarters and in front of the Japan Society in New York, which was watched by a handful of the city's police officers. No violent incidents were reported.

With loudspeakers blaring martial Chinese music and vociferous speeches, the protesters waved Chinese and South Korean flags and urged the UN to reject Japan's demand for a permanent seat.

It was the first time an anti-Japan protest was held in New York City in the wake of much larger and sometimes violent demonstrations in several cities in China and in Hong Kong in past weeks. The Chinese government allowed the protests, but this week, called on the Chinese people for restraint after Tokyo lodged strong protests.

The East Coast Coalition of Chinese Americans claimed in a statement that "Japan poses a potential danger to East Asia."

"For the war atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China during World War II, Japan never apologized, never paid any reparations but revised the history in the textbooks, the statement by the US group said.

The protesters carried banners that read, "Don't forget Pearl Harbor", referring to the attack on the US naval base in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, by the Japanese, which prompted the US to enter World War II. Other banners read, "Nazi Japan raped and slaughtered" and "Veto Japan, Vote for Peace."

Some protesters carried the best-selling book The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, a Chinese American writer who researched the atrocities committed by Japanese troops after they seized Nanking in December 1939.

Japan is among a handful of countries that have demanded a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council. Germany, Brazil, India and some African nations want to join the US, China, Russia, France and Britain as permanent members.

Negotiations are under way to reform the council by enlarging its membership from the current 15 countries to 24. A permanent seat confers prestige and power in the decision-making in the UN system.

The current five permanent members wield veto power over UN resolutions and make all important political decisions affecting peace and security in the world.

The 191-nation General Assembly will meet in September to decide on the new Security Council.

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