Monday’s Sankei and Yomiuri reported that Secretary of State Blinken released a statement on Saturday concerning the recent visit to China by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. The Secretary reportedly expressed concern that “the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang.” The Secretary reportedly criticized China by saying the High Commissioner should have been allowed to hold confidential meetings with Uyghurs and others. The Secretary also reportedly pointed out that China made efforts to “restrict and manipulate” the High Commissioner’s actions during the visit.
In a related story, Tuesday’s Mainichi, Yomiuri, and Nikkei reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said during a press briefing on Monday that Japan will call on China to take concrete actions to address the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including granting free access to independent observers and providing transparent explanations. Concerning the results of the visit by UN High Commissioner Bachelet, Matsuno reportedly said: “They must be thoroughly assessed.” With regard to international criticism of the Chinese authorities for restricting the High Commissioner’s actions during her visit, Matsuno reportedly said: “We will closely monitor further discussions.”