Japan not considering China sanctions despite ‘concern’ over Uighurs’ plight

Tokyo, Mar 23 (efe-epa).-Tokyo said Tuesday that it is not contemplating imposing sanctions on China similar to those applied by the United States and the European Union, although it expressed “grave concerns” over the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

When asked about the matter at a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the country’s legislation does not outline specific rules about imposing sanctions over human rights abuses.

He, however, expressed Tokyo’s “grave concerns” over the situation in Xinjiang and reports of serious human rights violations, and said it has asked the Chinese government for “transparent explanations” on the matter.

Japan believes it is important to continue to insist on China on this issue in collaboration with the international community, he added.

The Japanese government has traditionally been reluctant to impose sanctions on China on issues such as the situation of the Uighur minority or the imposition of the national security law in Hong Kong, owing to its important trade links with the neighboring country.

This stance contrasts with that of the US, its main security and defense ally, which followed in the European Union’s footsteps on Monday, imposing sanctions on four Chinese officials and one Chinese entity in response to “serious human rights abuse against members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.”

These are the first EU sanctions on Chinese officials since the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

In retaliation, China announced sanctions on 10 officials, including five members of the European Parliament. EFE-EPA


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