Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan should give public prominence to human rights issues and concerns at the Japan-ASEAN summit, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the prime minister. Japan’s summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is scheduled to be held in Tokyo from December 13 to 15, 2013.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan should raise concerns about the enforced disappearance of a prominent civil society leader in the prime minister’s meeting with Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong at the Japan-Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Japan, Mekong Watch, Empowerment For All Japan, and two other Japanese nongovernmental organizations said today in a joint letter to Prime Minister Abe.
We are writing in advance of your meeting with the prime minister of Laos, Thongsing Thammavong, at the Japan-ASEAN Summit in Tokyo from December 13, 2013. We respectfully request that in your meeting with Prime Minister Thongsing that you raise the case of prominent civil society leader Sombath Somphone, who was abducted and forcibly disappeared in Vientiane on December 15, 2012.
The Japanese government should revise the draft Special Secret Protection Bill to ensure it protects people’s rights under international law. To meet Japan’s international obligations, the bill should explicitly provide protection for whistleblowers and journalists, strengthen human rights protections, narrow the definition of the “special secret” to such information that poses a serious threat to national security, and make sure that clear and restrictive standards to guide classification decisions will be put in place.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should publicly call for an independent, internationally assisted investigation into election irregularities in Cambodia when he meets with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Human Rights Watch said in a letter today.