500 Mongolians march in Tokyo to protest Chinese education and arrests

Mongolians living in Japan staged a demonstration on the streets of Tokyo this Sunday, Nov. 15, to protest against the implementation of an education policy in China’s Inner Mongolia that could lead to the demise of Mongolian literature starting Sept. 1 this year. The protesters also urged Inner Mongolia to immediately release nearly 10,000 protesters, including arrested human rights lawyer Hu Baolong.

On Sunday morning, Mongolians living in Japan began demonstrating on the streets of Tokyo, where they went to the Chinese Embassy in Japan to protest. Tara, a Mongolian who took part in the event, told Radio Free Asia that evening that the peaceful protest march by Mongolians under the theme of saving their mother tongue was successfully held and concluded in Tokyo’s East Ikebukuro.

The peaceful protest demonstration was held in front of the Chinese Consulate in Japan,” Tara said. This is the second peaceful protest march organized by Mongolians in Japan voluntarily after September 12 for the purpose of protecting their mother tongue. We have five slogans today, the first one is to ask China to abide by its own constitution, because it clearly states in the Chinese constitution that each ethnic minority has the right to learn their own mother tongue, but this time it is a clear violation of the mother tongue, and then it is to withdraw Chinese education.”

Protest outside Chinese embassy tramples on Mongolian culture

Kubis, a scholar living in Japan, told this station, “More than five hundred Mongolians born in Southern Mongolia living in Japan marched in Tokyo yesterday and protested at the Chinese embassy against China’s new bilingual policy in Southern Mongolia and its cultural policy aimed at exterminating Mongolian culture.”

With a number of Japanese police officers maintaining order, the protesters presented a letter of protest and five demands to the Chinese diplomatic ambassador in Japan. They include the immediate revocation of the so-called bilingual education policy implemented on Sept. 1, the immediate revocation of the “Implementation Plan for the Use of State-Codified Teaching Materials for the First Year of Primary School and the First Year of Junior High School in All-Region Ethnic Language Teaching Schools,” as well as the immediate release of those arrested for anti-bilingual education in Inner Mongolia and the immediate reinstatement of those illegally removed from their public posts.

Nearly 10,000 people have been arrested for anti-Hindu education in Inner Mongolia.

Tara said that Mongolians arrested around September 1 last year to protect their native language have not been released: “In this human rights incident that happened in Inner Mongolia, close to 8,000 to 10,000 people were arrested there and have not been released yet. This is a coercive measure taken by the Chinese government. The Mongolians are being brutally oppressed.”

During the march, a protester held a picture of arrested Mongolian human rights lawyer Hu Baolong, Yang Jindu Lima. Tara said, “This is also a strong demand of all Mongolians now. Because many of our brave Mongolians are still in jail to protect their native language.”

Nomin, a Mongolian living in the U.S., told the station that Mongolian lawyer Hu Baolong, human rights activist Yang Jindu Lima, and other prominent figures arrested two months ago, face prosecution: “I’ve been asking around, too, and just yesterday I called. The government said it would not be able to do anything about the situation because of the central government’s order, and the local public security department could not do anything about it. They said they are also waiting to hear from the higher-ups, so no one knows. A (human rights activist) who runs a WeChat group called Arduntuya, she is also in custody and hasn’t been heard from.”

Eradication of Mongolian language continues on Inner Mongolia campus

In ethnic schools in the Inner Mongolia region, the Mongolian script has been eradicated from the school and replaced by Chinese. A local herder said the atmosphere is so tense that many people are afraid to discuss related issues in the WeChat group.

The event was attended by nearly 20 Mongolians, in addition to local Mongolians, as well as Vietnamese students in Tokyo, Tibetans and Uighurs. According to the Inner Mongolians who took part in this march, they will continue to hold such demonstrations in the future. The next one will be held on February 21 next year, World Mother Language Day.