Parliamentarians from around the world issued a joint declaration calling on Japan to conduct an independent investigation of the Chinese government’s rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang and to sanction Communist Party officials who have played a role in it.
More than 150 participants, including about 70 lawmakers from various nations, politicians, activists and representatives of civil society groups attended the International Uyghur Forum at Japan’s parliament, or Diet, in Tokyo on Oct. 30-31 to discuss international responses to the human rights violations against the mostly Muslim Uyghurs who live in the far-western region of Xinjiang.
Chinese authorities have detained an estimated 1.8 million Uyghurs and Turkic minorities in Xinjiang in “re-education” camps. The United Nations has found evidence of torture, state-imposed forced labor and sexual violence against Uyghurs, declaring China’s actions crimes against humanity and a genocide.
According to the president of the World Uyghur Congress, Japan is one of the largest economic power players in Asia, in addition to being a democratic power player neighboring China.
Another reason organizers chose Japan as host was to “break the silence of other Asian countries that are not familiar with what is happening to the Uyghurs and those who have been silent on the Uyghur genocide.”
The Japanese parliament has passed a rare resolution expressing concern about rights issues in China, including the treatment of Uyghurs.