Last month, discussing Japan’s foreign policy, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that “our role is to actively shape an Asia and a world where human dignity is respected, and a free and open international order based on the rule of law is maintained and strengthened, ensuring that we pass these values on to future generations.”

This is a pivotal year that will test those aspirations and Japan’s commitment to human rights as the country sits on both the United Nations Human Rights Council and the U.N. Security Council.

Meanwhile, in Asia at large, human rights remain under steady assault from abusive governments.