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Japan calls out “serious human rights situation” in China

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Forced LaborLaw & Policy

This week Japan has joined the mounting international pressure on the Chinese government, cautiously addressing the human rights situation in China as damning evidence of forced labor, torture and other human rights abuses being committed against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities continues to build.

“Serious human rights situation”

Japan’s parliament adopted a resolution addressing the broad human rights situation in China, stopping short of acknowledging the situation as being rooted in the perpetuation of state-sanctioned egregious rights abuses. According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the resolution did not directly use the word “China” in its text.

The resolution follows Japan’s decision to not send a government delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics that started on Friday. Though there were reportedly concerns in Japan’s government on the implications of the resolution on Japan’s bilateral relationship with China, the resolution passed just before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:

The resolution, adopted by the lower chamber, said the international community has expressed concerns over such issues as internment and the violation of religious freedom in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tibet and Hong Kong.

“Human rights issues cannot just be domestic issues, because human rights hold universal values and are a rightful matter of concern for the international community,” the resolution said.

“This chamber recognises changes to the status quo with force, which are symbolised by the serious human rights situation, as a threat to the international community,” it said.

Calls for greater cooperation

Japan’s resolution calls for greater international cooperation between the Japanese government and the international community, calling on the Japanese government to “collect information to grasp the whole picture … , monitor the serious human right situation in cooperation with the international community, and implement comprehensive relieving measures”.

Though international boycotts of the Olympic Games are underway to communicate disapproval of the Chinese government’s actions, the International Olympic Committee has not bowed to pressure to issue a human rights due diligence plan. Furthermore, the IOC has refused to engage with our community and our partners at the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region in mutually respectful dialogue.

As the Beijing Winter Olympic Games begin the Freedom United community is calling on the IOC to put human rights first and disclose what, if any, specific due diligence steps it has taken to identify and eliminate any material produced with Uyghur forced labor in Olympic-branded merchandise.

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Agnès Lebarbier
Agnès Lebarbier
4 months ago

Congratulations to the Japanese Government. The genocide of the Uyghurs is dramatic. The IOC must commit to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region before the games.

Shirley wan
Shirley wan
4 months ago

Protecting the human rights of the people of Uyghur is imperative for everyone world wide to be proactive in if we are to preserve harmony in which we all wish to live in. I put my voice to shouting out loud that I do not condone the ill treatment of this wonderful nation of people and those behaving inhumanely should be held accountable to their actions which is destroying a nation of great people.

Annie Bevis
Annie Bevis
4 months ago

Did you know that during the Olympic Games taking place last year in Japan the organisation Committee forbade a black man from participating in their inauguration ceremony and why? Very simply because he was black!! And the same people have the gall of calling the Chinese government racists? Do you actually remember on which side Japan was during the II WW? On the side of Hitler and do you remember how they treated prisoners of war, especially the British? You couldn’t get more cruel!

Beatrice Wan
Beatrice Wan
4 months ago
Reply to  Annie Bevis

well said!

Anne Cottam
Anne Cottam
4 months ago

Stop treating the Urghurs as slaves, and leave Hong Kong to look after itself, allowing Christians full freedoms.