China President Hu Jintao Visited My University. Big-Scale "Free Tibet!" Rally.

I was finding a place to have lunch in the afternoon when I saw that the main entrance of the university was packed with people with banners, and members of the media, and the police. Apparently, China's president, was coming over to Waseda University. I was mildly surprised because, while I heard of his arrival to Tokyo on TV last night and heard of his possible Waseda visit, I didn't know he was coming to Waseda today.


Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit.

Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 2

Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 3

Students' 'Free Tibet' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 4.

Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 4

Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 5


Aside from the FREE TIBET signs, I also saw some 'NO PANDAS' and 'NO MORE POISON DUMPINGS' signs around. Couldn't snap any pictures of those though.

Hundreds of cops were already there to keep things in control, in fact, the amount of policemen may surpass the amount of protestors.

Now, an obligatory photo of myself to prove that, yes, I was there. (not to protest, just a random passerby who was just having lunch ten minutes before before being disrupted)

Me during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit.


There were more and more people as time went on.

Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 6

Students' protests during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 7


Then the cops, troops of them, started marching around, shepherding the people... in a rather polite way. All of them were shouting "move forward, onegai shimasu! (please)"

Police keeping things control during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit

Police keeping things control during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 2

Police keeping things control during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 3

Police keeping things control during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit 4


Of course, while this was going on, the white-haired man in the photo below bellowed in rage, his face turning bright red, his eyes seemingly bulging out.

"WHERE'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THIS COUNTRY? THERE'S NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN JAPAN?" He screamed at a cop. Then he switched to shouting in Japanese.

Angry white man during Hu Jintao's Waseda University visit


"THIS is police brutality!" He said to me, pointing at the sea of police and protestors in front of him.

We all ended up standing pretty far away. In the sky, there were numerous helicopters circling around.

"THIS IS POLICE BRUTALITY!" Angry white man bellows.


"Yeah." I nodded.

"This is ridiculous! What country is this?" An Irish girl nearby said to me. "It makes me miss mine even more."

"Uh huh." I nodded.

She continued. "I was supposed to come here in two years, but now, I'm not so sure! I was cycling my way around this morning, and then some people were in my way, so I said 'sumimasen', and they replied 'SORRY'. It's all because I'm white and they assume that I can't speak Japanese!"

"Right." I nodded.

"This is really nothing. I've seen worse in my country." An Argentinean woman nearby said in wry bemusement.

Twenty minutes later, realizing that Hu Jintao wasn't arriving anytime soon, and that I've been sheperded to too far a place to get a good view of things, I started feeling bored and returned to my classes. Royksopp's ONLY THIS MOMENT music video this ain't.


Only This Moment


Updated (9th of May, 2008): Here are some videos (not uploaded by me):









Videos of the China President's speech in Waseda University:


Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Videos with Japanese translation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.