Tokyo said that the Hong Kong law could prevent Xi Jinping from visiting Japan

The specific programme for this trip is not yet under discussion.

Tokyo said that the Hong Kong law could prevent Xi Jinping from visiting Japan

Adoption of the law on ensuring national security in Hong Kong in China may negatively affect the existing arrangements for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan. This warning was given at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday by Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono, who had previously held the post of foreign minister.

“If the reports of the law’s approval are true”, –  he said,  – “it will have a serious impact on plans for Chairman Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan.” At another press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary General Yoshihide Suga said the specific agenda for the visit was not being discussed at this stage.

The Japanese government was previously very enthusiastic about preparing the visit of the Chinese leader, who, according to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was to open a “new chapter” in the relationship between the two countries. Xi Jinping was expected in Japan tentatively in April, but his arrival was prevented by the coronavirus epidemic in China. After that, Tokyo noticeably lost interest in preparing the visit, and the Kyodo news agency reported that it was postponed indefinitely, in particular, due to the Japanese government’s dissatisfaction with Beijing’s approach to the situation in Hong Kong.

According to the South China Morning Post, on Tuesday the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (SCNR, the supreme legislative body of China) passed a law on ensuring national security in Hong Kong. It is expected to come into force on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of the former British enclave under Chinese sovereignty. All 162 members of the SCNR voted in favour of its adoption. The text of the document has not yet been made public. It is expected to be published in the afternoon by Xinhua News Agency.

The new law aims to prevent and punish actions that threaten national security in Hong Kong: separatism, terrorism, undermining state power and collusion with foreign anti-Chinese forces. According to preliminary data, it provides for life imprisonment as a maximum penalty for the most serious violators. The law also provides for the establishment of a special power structure on Hong Kong territory under the control of the central government of China. According to the South China Morning Post, the new unit will be headed by one of the deputy ministers of public security of China.

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