The Shanghai correspondent of Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest national dailies, has allegedly been attacked by police in the city of Qidong, where thousands of residents protested against a planned industrial pipeline to discharge wastewater from a Japanese-owned paper mill.
Atsushi Okudera, 41, says he was attacked by over a dozen police officers while he was conducting interviews and taking photographs in Qidong. Officers pushed him to the ground, kicked him in the head and confiscated his camera along with his press pass.
Tsutomu Watanabe, the Asahi Shimbun’s international news editor in Tokyo, has filed a complaint to the Chinese government. “We cannot excuse it because it is extremely malicious obstructive behavior against the reporter’s legitimate news gathering activity,” said Watanabe. “We protest to the Chinese government and demand an apology and return of his camera and press ID.”
The Japanese consulate-general in Shanghai is understood to have lodged a separate protest to the Nantong government which oversees Qidong.