Reporters from Chinese and Japanese TV stations, radio broadcasting stations,
and newspapers stepped up, surrounded Yoko and asked questions. Yoko said, "I
am very grateful to the Japanese Government, Japanese Embassy in China, and
all people who paid attention to and helped the rescue. I'm grateful to
each one of rescue associations and all fellow Falun Dafa practitioners worldwide.
I appreciate my family members for their attention and my husband for his endless
efforts. All the efforts have helped me to leave the prison and return free
and safe to Japan." When asked about her feeling to be back in Japan, she said,
"I feel relaxed and safe, and free to have my own belief. The one and a half
years' imprisonment made me be truly determined to persist in my belief
in Falun Dafa's principles, Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance."
Yoko's friends and fellow practitioners were very pleased to see her returning
to the free world. Japan Falun Gong practitioners said, "We are very happy to
see Yoko's release and return to Japan. During her one and a half years'
imprisonment, Yoko was brutally tortured in a labor camp in China. Numerous
Falun Gong practitioners are brutally tortured in China. Thus we appeal to the
Japanese Government, media, and all people of justice and conscience to help
our rescue efforts. Today Yoko finally returned. Many Japanese people called
us and said that they learned from TV news about the release of Yoko and that
they were pleased. We hope more governments, media and kind-hearted people will
pay attention to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and to
stand with us to call on the Chinese regime to immediately release all Falun
Gong practitioners, to let all Falun Gong practitioners practice, study, live
and work freely in China and to let them have happy families."
Yoko was arrested in Beijing on May 24, 2002 for distributing flyers to passers-by
in Beijing to call for an end to the persecution. She was sentenced to one and
a half years in a forced labor camp. During her imprisonment, her husband, friends,
and fellow Falun Gong practitioners strove to rescue her all the time. Many
governments, human rights organizations, and individuals worldwide wrote to
the Japanese Government to call for her rescue or wrote to China directly to
demand her immediate release. By November, the rescue campaign had obtained
over 130,000 signatures from people worldwide and support from 270 members of
congress and city councils.