TBS News: Japanese university student arrested in Hong Kong gives his full story

TBS News has identified the university student that Hong Kong police arrested near Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced the arrest to Japanese media on Tuesday but had declined to disclose his identity.

TBS News uploaded an interview with him outside what appears to be Cheung Sha Wan Police Station onto Yahoo News Japan. As articles on Yahoo News tend to disappear after some time, I attach the clip through Twitter below:

I’ve decided to exceptionally translate the entire article, which is a story of why touring conflicting zones for fun is such a bad idea, below:

警察とデモ隊の衝突が続く香港理工大学に行き、現地の警察に逮捕された日本人大学生が、20日未明に釈放されました。釈放直後に、JNNの単独取材に応じ「なぜ捕まったのかわからない」と語りました。

The Japanese college student who went to Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where police and demonstrators continue to clash, and was arrested by police was released before dawn on November 20. Immediately after his release, he told JNN [Japan News Network] in an exclusive interview that “[he] didn’t know why he was arrested.”

「こっちは何もやっていないんですよ。石も投げていませんし、ただ見に行っただけなのに」(東京農業大学3年 井田光さん)

“I didn’t do anything here at all. I didn’t throw any rocks. I only came to see what was going on,” said Ida Hikaru, the arrested student.

東京農業大学3年の井田光さん(21)は香港時間の20日午前0時過ぎに釈放され、警察署から出てきました。観光の目的で香港を訪れていた井田さんは17日、九龍地区の香港理工大学の抗議デモを見に行き、警察に逮捕されたということです。パスポートはホテルに置いていて、財布の中に大学の学生証を入れていました。

Ida, aged 21 and a third-year student at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, was released just past midnight on November 20 Hong Kong Time, and came out of the police station. Ida said that he was visiting Hong Kong as a tourist on November 17, went to see the protests at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Kowloon, and was arrested by the police. He left his passport at his hotel, and his wallet contained his university ID card.

「暴動って言われたんですよ、罪は。捕まった経緯としては、囲まれて帰れなくなって、記者が出る場所に僕が行って出ただけなんで。僕も分からない、何で捕まったのか」(井田光さん)

“They said I was charged with rioting. As to how I was arrested, I was surrounded and couldn’t go home. I only got out by going to a place that the journalists were using to leave. I don’t know why I was arrested,” Ida said.

いったん大学内に入り、出ようとしたところ逮捕されたと言い、その際、「他のデモ隊と一緒に警察に押し倒され殴られたが、警察署では手荒なことはされなかった」と述べました。また、「一緒に捕まったデモ参加者を早く釈放して欲しい」と話しています。

According to Ida, he had briefly entered the university campus, and was arrested when he tried to leave. At the time, “I was pinned down and beaten by the police together with the other protestors, but I wasn’t treated roughly at the police station,” Ida said. “I hope the protest participants arrested together with me also get arrested soon,” he said.

「(一緒に拘束されていたのは)ほとんど未成年。10、16歳とか、そういう人たちが多くて、その人たちもけっこう血だらけだったりしていた」(井田光さん)

“Most [of the people arrested together with me] were minors. They were mostly 10, 16 years old. They were pretty bloodied up,” Ida said.

こうしたなか、アメリカ連邦議会の上院は19日、香港での人権の尊重と民主主義の確立を支援する「香港人権・民主主義法案」を、全会一致で可決しました。法案は、中国が香港に高度の自治を保障する「一国二制度」を守っているかどうかアメリカ政府に毎年の検証を求めるもので、すでに先月、下院でも可決されていました。両院の調整のあとトランプ大統領が署名すれば成立し、中国への圧力となります。

As this was happening, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which supports respect for human rights and the establishment of democracy in Hong Kong, on the 19th. The Act requires the U.S. government to review each year whether China is protecting ‘One Country, Two Systems’, which guarantees Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. The Act had already passed in the House of Representatives last month. The Act becomes law after the two houses in Congress combine the bill and President Trump signs the bill, and is further pressure to China.

中国との貿易交渉が長期化するなか、トランプ氏は態度をはっきりさせておらず、どのような判断を下すのか注目されています。

As the U.S.-China trade war continues, Mr. Trump has not expressed a clear stance to the bill. Observers are paying close attention as to how he will react.

War tourism only demonstrates the privilege of those who do not live in conflict zones. Unlike Ida’s wishes, none of the people arrested with him are likely to be released any time soon.

The comments on Yahoo Japan are equally scathing. Obviously all online comments should be approached with suspicion. But it was only a year ago that Japan saw Hong Kong as a hip and Instagrammable place to visit over the weekend. Now, I doubt we have the same reputation.

香港の今の騒乱は極めて危険な状況で、政治外交的にもかなり慎重な判断が求められる事案になっている。

It is the case that the mayhem in Hong Kong right now as an extremely dangerous situation, and also requires, politically and diplomatically, discreet judgment.

香港警察から釈放されたばかりでのインタビューで、現時点で日本で彼がどのように報道されて扱われているのか知らないのだろうが…

Since this interview was done right after he was released by the Hong Kong police, he probably doesn’t know how he was been treated by the press in Japan…

香港に行く事は問題ないが、遊びに行ったついでにデモを見に行ったと報道されている事が事実なのだとしたら軽率。

There’s nothing wrong with going to Hong Kong, but if it’s true that he dropped by to see the protests while he was on holiday, then he’s reckless.

戦場ジャーナリストが使命を果たそうとして行った結果拘束されるような「覚悟」はそこには無いのだろうし、万が一負傷や長期拘束に至った場合、外交問題に十分なりうる状況。

He probably doesn’t “prepared” in the sense that a war journalist could be locked up in the course of discharging his duties. If he got injured or was locked up for a long time, it could also have become a diplomatic problem.

私自身は香港の状況を憂いているし、共産党の弾圧には猛反対の立場であるが、「本気の参画やコミット」ではなく観光気分で現場に行ったのだとしたら「軽率」だと思う。

I myself worry about Hong Kong, and am strongly against the Chinese Communist Party’s oppression, but I think it’s reckless for one to go to protest scenes for tourism purposes and not if you are truly committed to being part of the protests.

21歳の大学生に覚悟を求めるのは過剰だとも思うが、行動に責任を伴う事は理解しておかなければならない年齢とも思う。

It might be extreme to expect a 21 year old college student to have this kind of “preparedness” in mind, but I also think at his age, he should have understood that his actions bring consequences.

From one of the comments on Yahoo News Japan