TOKYO: More than 1,000 people gathered in front of the United Nations University headquarters building in Tokyo to protest a military coup in Myanmar on Monday.
Participants called for the release of the Southeast Asian country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other political figures detained in the coup.
They held pictures of Suu Kyi and wore hats and T-shirts that were red, the symbol color of her political party, the National League for Democracy.
Hnin Wut Yee, a 26-year-old exchange student who participated in the protests, said she is worried that her country will “go back to the military regime era of the past.
“It is definitely not good for the country,” she said. “That is why we are expressing our feelings here.”
“Burmese people all around Japan are crying,” Win Kyaw, 55, who works at an eatery, said, using an alternative name for Myanmar.
“No one accepts the way the military does things,” he said angrily.
YuYu Wai, 58, the owner of Myanmarese restaurant Mingalaba in Tokyo expressed fears that “citizens will not be able to speak freely if the military regime returns.”
“I hope all the detained people will be safely released and that talks will progress peacefully,” she added.
“I can’t reach my parents in Yangon,” said Ma Hay Mar, head of nonprofit organization Japan Myanmar Culture Center. Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar.
“We were oppressed by the military regime, but Suu Kyi pushed ahead with democratization,” the center chief added. “I hope she can continue her work a bit more.”