Tokyo [Japan], April 5 (ANI): Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday urged China to halt its illegal intrusions into its territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and address the human rights issues in Xinjiang and the ongoing political situation in Hong Kong.
In a telephonic conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that lasted about 90 minutes, Motegi expressed "strong concerns" about the ongoing situations in China, reported Kyodo News.
This is the first time that the two ministers have held talks since Wang visited Japan in November last year.
Motegi and Wang are also believed to have exchanged notes about recent talks between Japan and the United States, as well as those between China and the United States, according to Kyodo News.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
In a 2020 report on Human rights practices: China released on Tuesday, the US Department of State said: "Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang".
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang even while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community, according to a report.
On the other hand, China's National Peoples' Congress Standing Committee approved sweeping changes to Hong Kong's electoral system which would empower the Election Committee - originally tasked with picking the chief executive - the right to nominate all candidates aspiring to be lawmakers and elect 40 representatives of its own to the city's Legislative Council.
Despite fierce international condemnation, China approved the contentious resolution, a move that critics say could further smother opposition voices in Hong Kong. Several countries have condemned Beijing's move to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system. (ANI)