All national dailies reported on Saturday on mounting criticism within the ruling and opposition camps of China’s enactment of a national security law for Hong Kong. The LDP drafted a resolution condemning Beijing’s shift in its “one nation, two systems” principle and “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong. The resolution expressed “deep and serious concern from the standpoint of respecting liberty and democracy.” Opposition parties expressed similar objections, with even Japanese Communist Party Chairman Shii saying: “We demand that China immediately suspend its moves to clamp down on civil liberties in Hong Kong.” The dailies said opposition is growing within Japanese political circles to the Abe administration’s desire to arrange a state visit to Japan by Chinese leader Xi in the autumn or later.
Sunday’s Sankei wrote that although the Trump administration took a stern approach in response to China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the GOJ’s response was rather muted as it merely expressed “deep concern” and did not use strong language such as “condemnation” or “protest.” The daily quoted an unnamed senior MOFA official as saying: “Denouncing China in coordination with others would not serve our national interests. Under the current circumstances, it is even more important to increase communications with the Chinese. Japan’s role is to minimize the security law’s impact on Japanese businesses in Hong Kong.”