Information on the treatment of Chinese students who were involved in post-Tiananmen crackdown protests have been persecuted in Japan or in China. [CHN5608]

Soon after the events of 4 June 1989, a Chinese student in Japan indicated that diplomats from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo had taken pictures of Chinese demonstrators in front of the Chinese embassy. [Larry Thorson, «Beijing Crisis Sparks Fear Among Chinese Students Around the World», The Associated Press, 15 June 1989, AM Cycle.] The diplomats, however, refuted that they had harassed Chinese students in Japan. [British Broadcasting Corporation, «Further International Reaction to Events in China», Summary of World Broadcasts, 15 June 1989, FE/0483/i.] In mid-June 1989, an employee from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo defected to the United States of America. [«Chinese Embassy Employee in Tokyo Seeks Asylum in U.S.», Reuters, 15 June 1989, PM Cycle.] The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that four demonstrations took place in Tokyo in May and June 1989. [Letter sent by the Documentation Centre on Refugees (DCR) of UNHCR in Geneva, dated 6 October 1989.] During a meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the People's Republic of China on 9 August 1989, Chinese students demonstrated in the streets of Tokyo. ["Chinese Students Protest Ministerial Meeting", Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 9 August 1989.]

Japan's refugee policies, moreover, are reported to be quite restrictive. [Kazuo Ito, Present Status and Problems of Refugee Status Recognition System (Tokyo: Japan Legal Aid Association, June 1989)] Japan introduced a new screening mechanism on 13 September 1989. ["Briefing on the Introduction of a Screening Mechanism for Boat People by Mr. Toshio Tsunozaki, director of the Human Rights and Refugee Division, United Nations Bureau", 11 September 1989.] Although the new mechanism mainly concerns Vietnamese boat people and Chinese citizens coming illegally by boat to Japan, at least one observer has alleged that Japanese refugee policy appears to be based on nationality (favouring the Indochinese) rather than political opinions. [Briefing by Mr. Tsunozaki: 2.] The Japanese Ministry of Justice has stated that most Chinese coming to Japan appear to be economic migrants [Briefing by Mr. Tsunozaki: 3.], and Japanese officials "hope" that the treatment of Chinese citizens deported from Japan will not be "too harsh". [Briefing by Mr. Tsunozaki: 2, 3, 5.] More recently, Japan deported a Chinese citizen who had hijacked a plane to Tokyo. [Louise do Rosario, «Sino-Japan Relations Remain Far From Normal: Ties on Hold», Far Eastern Economic Review, 10 May 1990, p.16-17.]

No information specific to the treatment of Chinese students returned from Japan is currently available to the IRBDC in Ottawa. For information on the general repression that took place after the June 1989 rebellion in China, please refer to the response given to Information Request CHN5255 sent to Toronto and dated 23 April 1990.