Lawmakers say they have received a batch of threatening letters sent from Japan, including a note calling upon the public to assassinate two election officers and the justice secretary for barring pro-democracy candidates from the recent by-election.

The note claimed that 500 dollars would be given if election officers Anne Teng and Amy Chan were killed, whilst 1,500 dollars would be awarded if Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng is assassinated. The currency was not specified.

threatening letter japanese
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Several pro-Beijing camp lawmakers received copies of the letter. Lawmaker Michael Luk of the Federation of Trade Union said he believed the letters were from pro-independence advocates.

“There were many words insulting China,” Luk said. “The letters incite people to kill others – this is close to an act, and thinking, of terrorists.”

“I strongly condemn such acts. Although these threatening acts were laughable and infuriating, they indeed cause serious threats to our officials.”

Asked why he believed Hong Kong independence advocates were behind the letters, Luk said the letter referred the legislature as the “self autonomous region’s parliament” and included pro-independence phrases.

Elizabeth Quat Michael Luk
Elizabeth Quat and Michael Luk. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Luk said the letters also included phrases threatening members of the pro-Beijing camp.

Lawmaker Elizabeth Quat said it was not the first time she has received such letters from Japan: “I have received a letter containing white powder and reported it to the police before.”

Luk and Quat said they will report the letters to the police.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin and Gary Fan also received letters from Japan on Tuesday.

Au, who is fluent in Japanese, said the Japanese in the letters was rendered “rather poorly.”

threatening letter japanese
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Other than copies of the letters received by others, Au also received a page congratulating him on his election win, a page written in Korean, and three other pages which appeared to be mock-ups of the notice barring pro-democracy candidates from the legislative election.

“I do not encourage murdering people,” he said.

Au said he was unable to tell if they were sent by a pro-independence advocate.

Au said he had received threatening letters almost daily since he was elected, and thus he did not take any action.

Au Nok-hin
Letters to Au Nok-hin. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

“Some claimed they supported the Chinese Communist Party and that I am a spy, thus they will kill me,” he said.

On one page of the letter, the author claimed to be a “hot-blooded ethnic Chinese youth” who loved the Chinese nation and was helping the country to improve.

Another page also claimed the pro-Beijing camp was disturbing the country’s order by supporting the disqualification of pro-democracy lawmakers and candidates.

threatening letter japanese
Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

On the envelope, it said it was from the “Association of Chinese-holics in Kinki Region.” The address of the organisation on the envelope correlated with a car park of a paper company in Osaka.

“I have never heard of this group,” Au said.

A QR code on the assassination note was linked to an extremist political group in Japan, which calls for an end to alleged privileges afforded to Koreans in Japan.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.