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Press Release: WUC Calls on Japanese Government to Take Meaningful Action in Response to the Uyghur Genocide

Press Release: WUC Calls on Japanese Government to Take Meaningful Action in Response to the Uyghur Genocide
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Press Release – For immediate release
26 September 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is calling upon the Japanese government to take meaningful and tangible action in response to the strong findings of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concerning the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan.

To deliver this message, a WUC Delegation consisting of President Dolkun Isa, Executive Chairman Omer Kanat, spokesperson Dilshat Reshit, and camp survivor Kelbinur Sidik safely is visiting Tokyo in the next two weeks, where it will meet with government officials, Members of the Parliament, civil society, press as well as the Uyghur community.

“Our calls upon the Japanese government this week are straightforward: make concrete efforts to ensure accountability and justice for Uyghur victims”, said WUC President, Dolkun Isa. “As one of the most influential actors in the Asia-Pacific promoting human rights and democracy, Japan needs to consistently stand up for these values, including with the Chinese government”.

The WUC delegation will further pay its respects to the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his family. A valued ally of the Uyghur people before and during his time as Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe raised the Uyghur crisis with former Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2008, and Xi Jinping in 2019. Furthermore, he helped create the Uyghur Friendship Group in the Japanese parliament, which is one of the largest parliamentary groups of the Uyghurs in the world today.

In line with this, the WUC urges the Japanese government to support ongoing and future initiatives to hold the Chinese government accountable for its crimes, including crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity. This includes efforts at the UN to propose a Special Session or Urgent Debate with the aim of establishing a Commission of Inquiry to independently examine the treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, as well as to propose the establishment of a Special Envoy to monitor the situation in East Turkistan. As Japan is currently sitting on the Human Rights Council (HRC), it is in a prominent position to lead action and rally support from the other UN Member States, in particular from other Asia-Pacific countries.

Furthermore, the WUC calls upon Japan to take up its G7 commitments to end forced labour and introduce legislation to end corporate complicity in Uyghur forced labour. Finally, it should introduce targeted sanctions – in line with those proposed by the EU, US, UK, and Canada in March 2021 – to hold those individuals and entities accountable for their complicity. 

As this year marks the 50th year of Sino-Japanese ties, the Japanese government must ensure these bilateral relations are founded upon respect for human rights and democracy. Without such a human rights-centred policy to curb China’s threats, Japan puts the wider security and human freedoms in the Asia-Pacific at risk.