Protesters march during APEC Summit
Thousands of protesters joined voices Saturday in Yokohama, Japan, as leaders meet for the APEC summit to discuss deeper regional economic ties.
Security has been tight throughout the week with over 21,000 Japanese police patrolling Yokohama to secure the venue from security threats.
Riot police stood guard as protesters held up banners and shouted their opposition to the APEC talks.
Some marched through the streets protesting against the free-trade talks hosted by the Asia-Pacific leaders, saying it will threaten Japan’s agricultural sector.
Others held an anti-China rally, protesting against what they said was Beijing’s intrusion into disputed islands that both Japan and China claim as theirs.
[Masahiro Ishida, Student] :
"I came here to protest that the Senkaku islands are Japanese territory, and I wish Prime Minister Kan would strongly tell China to not violate the lands of the Japanese."
Japanese politicians, Tokyo residents, as well as Tibeten, Uighur and Taiwanese organization leaders also participated in the rally, urging Japan and neighboring countries to stand against China.
[Natsuyo Uchida, Housewife] :
"China doesn’t follow international rules and they’ve been invading Tibet, Mongolia, Xinjiang and Taiwan. Women and citizens fear that Japan could become a state of China."
Organizers say about 2,500 people gathered for the rally, and numbers increased to 3,500 for the street march.