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Diet fails to pass resolution condemning human rights abuses

  • June 17, 2021
  • , Sankei , Lead
  • JMH Translation

By Okuhara Shinpei


The Diet failed to adopt a resolution that would have demanded Chinese authorities to immediately halt human rights abuses in such places as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region before the Diet went into recess on June 16. As Western countries become increasingly critical of human rights issues in China, the political standstill in Japan may send the wrong signal to the global community.


The conservative wing of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has worked with other parties since early spring to coordinate efforts to pass the resolution, which requires unanimous approval. The draft resolution did not mention China by name in a desperate attempt to obtain approval from Komeito, which has traditionally had close ties with the Chinese Communist Party. Some expressed concern that the omission of the country name would weaken the significance of the resolution.


Toward the end of the current session, opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, and Nippon Ishin no Kai, successfully reached an internal consensus and approved the resolution. The Japanese Communist Party was also prepared to join, subject to the ruling parties’ move. However, an agreement within the ruling camp proved hard to come by. On June 15, the secretaries-general of the LDP and Komeito tried to sort out their differences but failed to do so before the Diet session ended.


Some in the LDP blame pro-China Komeito’s reluctance to adopt the resolution as the cause of the failure, while a senior Komeito member cites lack of prior coordination, claiming that the LDP did not extended a formal invitation for talks until too close to the end of the Diet session.


The joint statement issued on June 13 following the G7 summit meeting expressed the group’s concern about the human rights violations in Xinjiang. The fact that the LDP failed to vote on even a weaker version of the resolution will weigh heavily on the party going forward.


Additionally, it could have a substantial impact on the next Lower House election. Conservatives, which are wary of Chinese aggression, may doubt the LDP’s leadership. Furthermore, it could be argued that the ruling parties may lose credibility regarding campaign promises on human rights.

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