Japan declines to join US, others in condemning China for Hong Kong law

Photo: AP Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with China’s President Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Osaka 28 June 2019.

Japan has decided not join the United States, Britain and others in issuing a statement scolding China for imposing a new security law, Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday, citing officials from countries involved.

The United Kingdom, the US, Australia and Canada condemned China on 28 May for imposing a law that they said would threaten freedom and breach a 1984 Sino-British agreement on the autonomy of the former colony.

There was no immediate response to Reuters e-mail inquiries to Japan’s foreign ministry and the US embassy in Tokyo. China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tokyo separately issued a statement 28 May, the day China’s parliament approved the national security legislation, saying the nation was “seriously concerned” about the move, which observers fear could endanger Hong Kong’s special autonomy and freedoms.

Tokyo is in complicated position amid tension between China and the US over the Hong Kong issue as Japan plans Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit, which was planned for early April but has been postponed because both have agreed to priorities to contain the virus outbreak.

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