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Japan reneges on issuing statement to condemn China’s security law on Hong Kong

Tokyo: Japan has backed out of issuing a joint statement with the United States, Britain and other nations to condemn China for its decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

Kyodo news agency reported that Japan chose not to be part of this initiative on Saturday as it aims to balance its relations between the US – a key security ally and China a neighbour and major trading partner.

On May 28, the National People’s Congress (Chinese parliament) decided to introduce legislation on national security, a move that was criticised by the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada who issued a statement expressing their “deep concern” over the decision and warned that it could “dramatically erode” Hong Kong’s autonomy that was allowed under China’s ‘one country, two systems’ policy.

The rise in tensions between China and the United States over the Hong Kong issue could also negatively affect Japan’s plans of hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping as a state guest later this year. The schedule for which has not been fixed yet as the visit was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per China’s ‘one country, two systems’ policy introduced in 1997 when Britain handed back the city-state to China, Hong Kong was assured the rights and freedoms of a semi-autonomous region for 50 years.

But the national security law which bans separatism, subversion and foreign interference in Hong Kong is seen as a tool for Beijing to erode freedoms and human rights in the territory.

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