A pro-China group have confronted Hong Kong demonstrators in Japan and drowned out their chants by singing the national anthem.
Footage from Osaka shows an anti-extradition rally face off a larger counter-protest made up of pro-Beijing protesters outside a department store.
Dozens of activists, with some holding umbrellas – the symbol of the Hong Kong movement – were overwhelmed by organised counter-demonstrators waving China flags and singing March Of The Volunteers, the country’s national anthem.
Dozens of protesters, with some holding umbrellas (left) – the symbol of the Hong Kong movement – were overwhelmed by counter-demonstrators waving China flags and singing March Of The Volunteers, the country’s national anthem (right)
The standoff came at the Marui Department store (pictured) in Namba, central Osaka, on Saturday – the day live before fire and water cannon was used for the first time in the Hong Kong protests
The standoff came at the Marui Department store in Namba, central Osaka, on Saturday – the day before live fire and water cannon was used for the first time in the Hong Kong protests.
Violence in the anti-government protests has been getting more heated in recent exchanges between demonstrators and police in Hong Kong.
But the government remains confident it can handle the crisis itself, according to the embattled leader of the former British colony.
The skirmish in Osaka was not of the same scale as those seen in Hong Kong in recent weeks, but it is of significance due to it being quashed by pro-China supporters outside its territory.
The skirmish in Osaka was not of the same scale as those seen in Hong Kong in recent weeks, but it is of significance due to it being quashed by pro-China supporters (right) outside its territory
It is also unusual due to Japanese citizens usually holding political demonstrations outside governmental buildings – such as the National Diet Building in Tokyo – as opposed to a department store.
One Twitter user posted next to a video of the counter-protesters: ‘Are these phenomena happening in various parts of the world in Hong Kong this time, are they Chinese patriots?
‘Wrong! They never showed up against their brothers who were persecuted. However, for the sake of China, they gather in an instant. I think that the majority of Chinese overseas are just CPR reserves.’
It is also unusual due to Japanese citizens usually holding political demonstrations outside governmental buildings – such as the National Diet Building in Tokyo – as opposed to a department store (pictured)
Another posted: ‘This is Japan…? I think I’m going to pass out from shock.’
One man wrote: ‘This is happening in Namba? Why?’, while another added: ‘Let’s have our political demonstrations in front of the embassy or consulate.’
A person said on social media: ‘Please don’t have foreign political demonstrations in Japan. Have political demonstrations in your own country!!! This is a noisy nuisance.
One person said on social media: ‘Please don’t have foreign political demonstrations in Japan. Have political demonstrations in your own country!!! This is a noisy nuisance’
‘Isn’t it a visa violation to enter the country to have a political demonstration?’
It is not clear whether the counter protesters are tourists or residents.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has today spoken in public for the first time since demonstrations escalated on Sunday.
The weekend saw police fire water cannon and volleys of tear gas in running battles with protesters who threw bricks and petrol bombs.
The Chinese-ruled city is grappling with its biggest political crisis since its handover to Beijing in 1997 and Communist Party authorities have sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible to quell the violence.
Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader said she would not give up on building a platform for dialogue, although the time was not right to set up an independent inquiry into the crisis, one of the cornerstone demands of protesters.
Lam said: ‘We should prepare for reconciliation in society by communicating with different people …
‘We want to put an end to the chaotic situation in Hong Kong.’
She added that she did not believe her government had lost control.
Demonstrations in Hong Kong have escalated after police fired live bullets, water cannon and tear gas while protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs in the 12th weekend of the anti-extradition-bill movement. Pictured, police fire tear gas in Tsuen Wan on August 25
An insider said the city’s government was unlikely to cave in to the protesters anytime soon. Pictured, protesters return tear gas in Tsuen Wan on August 25 in the latest clashes
Carrie Lam (pictured) has disputed criticism that her government is ignoring the protesters. ‘It is not a question of not responding,’ she said. ‘It is a question of not accepting those demands’
More demonstrations are planned over coming days and weeks, posing a direct challenge to authorities in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1.
Beijing warned again on Tuesday against foreign governments interfering in the Hong Kong protests, after the G7 summit of leaders of seven industrialised nations called for violence to be avoided.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was ‘strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed’ to the G7 ‘making thoughtless remarks and gesticulating’ about Hong Kong matters.
Hong Kong demonstrators are pictured taking part in a peaceful sit-in assembly on August 26
Those at the Wan Chai Revenue Tower sit-in yesterday are seen holding signs which read ‘free Hong Kong, democracy now, add oil konger’ and ‘fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong’
A man walks past the protesters as they keep their heads down and sit on the floor on Monday
On a visit to the southern province of Guangdong, near Hong Kong, public security minister Zhao Kezhi said China would crack down on violent terrorist activities and firmly safeguard its political security.
Unrest in the Asian financial hub escalated in mid-June over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.
What do Hong Kong protesters want?
Apart from the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong demonstrators have listed five demands and have continued to urge the government to respond to them.
These five demands are:
1. A complete withdrawal of the extradition bill
2. A retraction from the government to its characterisation that the protesters were ‘rioters’
3. Unconditional and immediate release of protesters who were arrested and charges against them dropped
4. Establishment of an independent enquiry to investigate police violence during clashes
5. Genuine universal suffrage
But the demonstrations have evolved over 12 straight weeks into a broad demand for greater democracy under the ‘one country, two systems’ formula following the handover to China by colonial ruler Britain in 1997.
Authorities have so far refused to meet any of the protesters’ five key demands.
These are withdraw the extradition bill, set up an independent inquiry into the protests and perceived police brutality, stop describing the protests as ‘rioting’, waive charges against those arrested, and resume political reform.
On Monday, the government said illegal violence was pushing Hong Kong to the brink of great danger after weekend clashes that included the first gunshot and the arrest of 86 people, the youngest just 12.
The protests come as Hong Kong faces its first recession in a decade, with all its pillars of growth under significant stress.
Rating agencies have raised long-term questions over the quality of its governance.
Made jittery by the unrest, some Hong Kong tycoons have started to move personal wealth offshore while residents have begun to look for homes elsewhere.
Jamie Mi, partner at Melbourne-based Kay & Burton, said the real estate agency was receiving about one-third more enquiries from Hong Kong buyers than usual, with most targeting high-end properties priced above 5million Hong Kong dollars (£2.8million).
Juwai.com, China’s largest international property website, recorded a 50 per cent increase in Hong Kong enquiries for Australian properties in the past quarter.