• Jiji

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday denied a media report that Japan caused disappointment by refusing to join countries including the United States and the United Kingdom that issued a joint statement against China’s planned security law for Hong Kong.

“The United States, Britain and other countries concerned appreciate our country’s response (to the Hong Kong situation), so it’s not true at all that voices of disappointment were conveyed to us,” Suga said at a news conference.

The top government spokesman pointed out that Japanese officials including Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressed deep concern about the Hong Kong security law on May 28, the day when China’s National People’s Congress adopted a plan to introduce it.

On that day, the U.S, the U.K., Australia and Canada released a joint statement arguing that the Chinese move “would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

The Japanese government has been “directly and immediately conveying its strong position to the Chinese side at high levels, and clearly signaling that position to the international community,” Suga stressed.

Also at the news conference, Suga said the government will “listen humbly to the people’s voices” after recent media polls suggested that the approval rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet is falling.

“We prioritize protecting the people’s daily lives and jobs by continuing to make every effort to prevent coronavirus infections,” he said.

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