New reports have surfaced that a Nigerian migrant allegedly threatened a Japanese resident at the Tokyo “Refugee and Migrant Festival.”
Twitter user Yutaro Tanaka provided a detailed account of the encounter:
Yesterday, I went to survey the Refugee and Immigrant Festival held at Kashiwanomiya Park. This event is sponsored by Suginami Ward. By chance, I happened to see a female resident of the ward speaking with a foreigner from Nigeria, asking if they would like to have tea with her. After talking for a while, they began discussing the foreigner’s personal life. When the resident asked how he came to Japan, the foreigner became furious for some reason. Yelling “Go home! Go home!”, it reached a point where he then threatened “There is only one God. He will kill you.”.
Suginami Ward Councilor Hiwaki Gaku of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and others were also present as part of the management side. However, they unilaterally took the side of foreigners and made meaningless assumptions such as “don’t discriminate” and “public figures shouldn’t be in the park”, while encircling the residents and me in a group and pressing their bodies against us close as if to intimidate. We felt that we were in danger, so we left the area.
Some people are spreading false rumors about our behavior, saying things like “we were asking around to see if they had passports and visas” and “raising our voices by playing the victim”, but this is factually incorrect. Instead of cultivating a better understanding of refugees and immigrants, the ward is threatening ordinary residents with the words “God will kill you”, surrounding small groups of people with large groups and violently expelling them. Sponsorship of such malicious events should be withdrawn.
Here’s a poster promoting the event:
Naturally, there were some denying Tanaka’s claims. One such critic was the aforementioned Hiwaki Gaku, who claims to be “antifascist” in his Twitter profile. Gaku asserts there was no conflict at all, and that Tanaka even took a commemorative photo with the migrants after their talk.
There was one video where (supposedly) Yutaro Tanaka was recorded doing this before then walking elsewhere, implying that the violent encounter perhaps didn’t happen.
It’s not known if one of the two other people in the video were the Nigerian migrant who made the threat, or if the events Yutaro claimed happened were after when this video was recorded:
The individual who uploaded the video labeled himself as “Anti-Racist, Anti-Fascist, Anti-Sexist” on his Twitter profile.
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