After he was denied re-entry to China eight times, Feng Zhenghu lived in Tokyo’s Narita Airport for 92 days in 2009-2010. Now Feng is telling the story of his airport odyssey on his blog, and CDT is translating his account.
This is part 13. Read previous installments here.
November 15, 2009
Today is Sunday. I’ve lived outside Japan’s doorway for 12 days now. At about 9 a.m., I got a call from San Francisco. The annual meeting of the Chinese Democratic Education Foundation was starting, and the host had invited me to speak briefly to the nearly 100 participants. I quickly explained my situation, thanked everyone for their support and encouragement, and then began my lecture: In the age of the Internet, every single person can easily grasp the concepts of freedom and democracy. We are therefore needed more than ever before. Intellectuals especially must put into practice democracy and freedom, educating those around us through our actions, spurring the masses to realize freedom and democracy, and working together to safeguard human rights.
At noon, I got a call from Xu Wenli, who has settled in the U.S. He asked with great concern, “Has anyone sent you vitamins?” “No,” I replied. Actually, I had plenty to eat and hadn’t thought about nutrition. Mr. Xu said, “Vitamins are crucial to your health. You can’t get anything fresh to eat right now. Over time, you will develop a vitamin deficiency, so you can’t neglect this. Vitamin deficiency is a serious condition that can lead to blood poisoning and other irreversible illnesses. I’ll put out a call online for people to send you vitamins.” A doctor in Kanagawa Prefecture had just called me before with the same concern.
In the afternoon, I took a phone interview with a reporter for Radio France Internationale Chinese.
At 6:30 p.m., a cameraman and a reporter from New Tang Dynasty TV’s Japan bureau entered the immigration hall of the fourth floor of the south wing of terminal 1 at Narita Airport to interview me in person. They also shot footage of my temporary home.
Who could believe that a Chinese citizen can’t go home? Among the multitude coming to Japan every day are many Chinese tourists. How could they fathom such a scandal from a strong China? Yet the living proof of it is right before their eyes, eating away at their self-respect. If this were reported in the mainland, the people and leading cadres would be shocked and offended. There is no way they would tolerate these few officials trampling on China. [Chinese]
Translated by Anne Henochowicz.