Some Outcry on the Net About the Olympic Torch Relay in Nagano, Japan

April 26, 2008

Some people on the internet have been reporting that while people with Chinese flags were allowed to enter the goal area for the Olympic torch relay in Nagano, people with the Tibetan flag were not.

According to this report, about 200 Tibet supporters were led to the back side of the park and told that they would be allowed into the park when the Olympic torch reached the finish line in the park. In the end, they were never allowed back into the park and when the Olympic torch reached its goal, the only flags in view were flags of China.

The Japanese police said that they had to take such measures for security reasons.

The story was reported by someone who is openly in favor of a free Tibet, however there were some interesting comments on the story he wrote for the “2ch News” (ni-channel news).

A lot of the comments written were anti-China. Some were pro-China, but a few made good points… such as the fact that at the end of the relay, the news showed the plethora of Chinese flags, but no one seemed to have bothered to wave any Olympic flags or Japanese flags which would have been a perfectly normal thing to do.

I think the Japanese media had been looking forward to this for quite a while.

The only major event I read about was a man trying to push his way into the path of the torch when the Japanese Table Tennis superstar Ai Fukuhara was carrying it. He was subdued pretty quickly.

It seems like Japanese authorities really expected no trouble at all, but instead got a little bit of controversy through the presence of Tibet supporters as well as Chinese exchange students coming to demonstrate at the relay.