Japan Shying Away from Western Sanctions on China

Politics

Tokyo, March 24 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is taking a cautious stance on imposing sanctions against China over its alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, distancing itself from a coordinated Western action against Beijing.

The differing positions of Japan and the United States toward the Uyghur issue may be highlighted in the first face-to-face meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden, planned for April, at a time when Washington is intensifying its criticism of China over human rights problems, pundits said.

Japan's foreign exchange and foreign trade law has no provision for imposing sanctions solely on the basis of human rights issues as a direct or explicit reason, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a press conference on Tuesday.

The law allows Japan to impose economic sanctions, such as asset freeze, against foreign nationals, when such measures are deemed to contribute to the efforts of ensuring global peace and to the maintenance of peace and security in Japan.

Kato apparently indicated Japan's recognition that the Uyghur human rights issue does not meet the requirements of the law for enforcing sanctions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press