Look what the murder of George Floyd has manifested.
Floyd’s May 25 murder by a Minneapolis cop, has sparked protests, some– peaceful and others marred by violence–in this country and around the world. The most unlikely places where there have been BLM protests are Tokyo, Osaka, and Kansai, Japan.
Japan Times reported on a march in Tokyo on June 14. Another march was held in Osaka on June 7 and Kansai the same day.
Protestors held up “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” signs. The last sign was an apparent reference to Floyd uttered those words more than 20 times to Officer Derek Michael Chauvin as he pressed his knee into back of Floyd’s neck as he lay face down on the ground, eventually killing him.
Floyd called out for his deceased mother and his children. Chauvin told him if you can talk, you can breathe, which turns out not to be true. Chauvin, who has been fired, is charged with second-degree murder.
The murder of George Floyd, a person who was known to very few people a month ago, has led to soul searching in Japan, a homogenous country with an aging culture.
“We’re marching to make ourselves known,” said Jaime Smith, a representative of the Tokyo’s march organizers, to Japan Times.
“We are adding in bits to our march about racism that exists in Japan.”
Black Lives Matter noted the racially charged public criticisms of Ariana Miyamoto, a Black and Japanese woman who was the 2015 Miss Universe beauty pageant from Japan. Miyamoto’s father is African American and her mother is Japanese. Like many mixed-race children, other students bullied her in school.
Not everyone wants to hear the Black Lives Matter message. A nationalist group set up a van near Shelby Station in Tokyo. The group chanted, “This is Japan” and “Get out of Japan.”
Organizers of Black Lives Matter Tokyo are launching “RealTalk,” a webinar focusing on racism and systemic injustice in the United States, Japan and around the world.