Tokyo may have a chance to realize a long-held dream of becoming a global financial hub if it can attract people fleeing a Chinese clampdown on Hong Kong, according to a senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker.

The LDP began debating details Wednesday about making the capital more attractive to international firms, a day after China’s government asserted broad new powers over Hong Kong with a national security law that risks endangering the city’s appeal as a global business hub.

"What Japan offers that Hong Kong doesn’t is freedom,” Satsuki Katayama, who heads an LDP panel on foreign labor, said in an interview Tuesday. "If Hong Kong becomes the kind of place where people’s Facebook likes are being checked, will they put up with that? I think people want to live somewhere normal.”