People in Japan Pay Tribute to Paris Shooting Victims

By Reuters
November 16,2015
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Candles and flowers were laid outside the French embassy in Tokyo on Sunday (November 15), as the Japanese capital joined the world in showing their solidarity with the French people following the deadly attacks on Paris that left 129 people dead and scores injured.

Cities around the world have lit-up famous landmarks in the colours of the French flag and the Tokyo Tower, the second tallest structure in Japan, was also resplendent in red, white and blue in a sign of defiance in the face of Islamic State, who have claimed responsibility for the attacks on Friday night (November 13).

An official ceremony was held by the French embassy earlier on Sunday, and in the evening people came to show their respects by lighting candles and writing personal messages to the people of France.

For American student Melody Salcedo, the Paris attacks reminded her of the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks on the United States, and she said the world shared the pain being felt by the French people.

"No words could describe how painful it must be. Coming from the U.S., coming from 9/11, we know how terrible they must feel, and that's why we're here to show our support," said Salcedo, a student who comes from U.S. and has lived in Tokyo for a year.

Sei Ayumu, another to light a candle at the vigil, said she knew that lighting a candle couldn't bring back the victims of the tragedy, but hoped that the small sign of solidarity would provide some solace to the people of Paris.

"To the victims and the family that lost the ones they love, it is truly a sadness that these small candles cannot heal. But I hope at least we can show that we are all caring about France through lighting a candle," she said outside the embassy.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is with other world leaders at the G20 Summit in Tokyo, where the Paris attacks are dominating talks.