Japan mulls US-style law to deal with human rights issues in China

ANI
·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Tokyo [Japan], November 12 (ANI): Amid growing criticism against China for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Japan is mulling a legal foundation for sanctions, similar to those imposed by the US and Europe.

The Japanese government has asked the local companies that operate in China whether functioning in Xinjiang province could get them into trouble, Nikkei Asia reported.

This comes after several Japanese companies were reported to be among the 82 global brands named in March by the Australian Global Policy Institute as those linked to factories that use Uyghurs labourers.

The report said that over 80,000 Uyghur workers were transferred out of the Xinjiang province to around 30 factories across the country.

Last week, the US government had removed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from its list of terrorist organisations after nearly two decades, weakening China's anti-terror pretext for the draconian crackdown on Uyghurs in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the group had been removed from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, according to an order issued on October 20 made public this month.

This follows the passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act by the US in June, which led the administration to impose financial sanctions and visa bans under the Global Magnitsky Act against Chinese government officials, responsible for the persecution of Uyghur and other Muslims.

The law requires federal government agencies to report on human rights abuses in Xinjiang and attempts by the Chinese government agents to harass Uyghurs and Chinese nationals in the United States.

On similar lines, Japan is thinking of getting new legislation. "Japan is too slow to act compared to the US and Europe," a government official was quoted by Nikkei Asia.

The Japanese publication said that the country's current legal framework does not easily allow for economic sanctions based on human rights concerns alone, adding that it can freeze assets of foreign players or ban them from entering the country, but only under specific circumstances.

"Japan must create its own version of the Magnitsky Act that allows comprehensive sanctions in response to human rights issues, and update all other relevant legislation like the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act," said Akira Igata, a national security expert. (ANI)