Saturday’s Asahi reported that during a virtual meeting on nuclear disarmament that was held on Thursday night, Prime Minister Kishida emphasized his resolve to defend human rights overseas by saying: “We will continue to raise objections to serious human rights abuses without fail.” Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on human rights Nakatani also attended the session in a bid to highlight the administration’s goal of promoting universal values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and civil liberties.
In a related story, Saturday’s Mainichi focused on remarks made by Kishida during the Summit for Democracy chaired by President Biden. He reportedly promised that Japan will strongly ask countries to take “responsible actions on human rights in coordination with the international community.” The paper conjectured that the premier made this comment with China in mind, speculating that he was keen to strengthen bilateral relations with the United States by demonstrating his support for President Biden’s goal of championing democracy around the world. According to the daily, Tokyo allegedly expressed opposition to Washington’s initial idea of calling for some summit participants to present justifications for calling themselves democratic nations out of concern that such a “high-handed” approach might alienate those countries and prompt them to team up with China. The paper said Japan aimed to serve as a “bridge” between the United States and the other participants during the online summit.