politics

Uighur community calls for Japanese firms to take action on forced labor

17 Comments

An association of Uighurs in Japan on Thursday urged major Japanese companies to investigate whether their operations in China are connected to factories allegedly benefiting from forced labor of the Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region, and if so to suspend such transactions.

In a joint statement, the Japan Uighur Association and rights advocacy group Human Rights Now criticized 14 firms for being slow in taking action over possible human rights abuses in their supply chains compared to their global rivals.

The call comes amid growing international criticism of Beijing's Uighur crackdown, with the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada all imposing sanctions against China. Pressure has been mounting for Japan to take more action.

"It's important for members of the international community to work in unity to stop such atrocities involving forced displacement and labor of ethnic minorities," said Afumetto Retepu, vice chairman of the association, at a press conference in Tokyo.

The 14 were named last year in a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank identifying over 80 global brands "directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uighur workers outside Xinjiang through abusive labor transfer programs."

The association said it has sent written inquiries to these companies about how they plan to address the issue. The firms include Fast Retailing Co, operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing brand, Sony Group Corp, and Toshiba Corp.

All 14 companies except for Panasonic Corp, which gave no response, either denied transactions with the Chinese businesses in question or said they could not confirm if their business partners were involved in forced labor, according to the association and the Tokyo-based human rights group.

They added that most of the companies said they will suspend their operations if human rights violations are discovered in their supply chain.

Chinese authorities have denied such forced labor or human rights abuses.

Washington accused Beijing of committing "genocide" and other crimes against humanity on Uighurs in an annual human rights report the State Department released in late March.

Amid allegations of forced labor, the United States and Britain have imposed import restrictions on cotton and other products originating from the autonomous region.

Pressure has been mounting on the Japanese government, which has been passive in addressing the issue due apparently to fear of provoking China, to take action against such abuses.

Japanese lawmakers launched this week a cross-party group to discuss introducing legislation to enable sanctions to be imposed over human rights abuses, including against the Uighurs. Currently Japan has no laws that enable it to impose such sanctions.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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Is kinda sad when muslim had to cry for aid in western countries and even in Japan, while the whole middle east is turning a blind eye toward these crimes. Heck, they practically are ignoring it. Aren't they very protective of their religion?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Don’t understand why Islamic countries have not condemned but instead praised China on this. If you read up in this, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other Muslim organization have been silent.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Genocide and crimes against humanity..... What utter nonsense. And an insult to those who suffered genocide.

All just a ploy to undermine China. And so many fall for it...Sad.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

Many businesses are justnot looking’ for trouble:

*- “The association sent inquiries to companies, including Fast Retailing Co. All 14 companies either denied transactions with the Chinese businesses in question or, said they could not confirm if their business partners were involved in forced labor.”*

or, just ‘turning their heads’ away from the issue:

*- “Fast Retailing (Uniqlo/GU/Theory/PrincessTamTam) billionaire Tadashi Yanai was asked about using cotton from forced labor in Xinjiang: "Of course, we take a close interest in all factories or production of cotton. If we find such problems, we will immediately terminate our business transactions," Yanai said. "But beyond that, it becomes a ‘political issue’ rather than ‘a human rights issue’. So, no comment."*

to continue to profit.

Fast Retailing’s operating profit was up 22.9 percent from 2019/20 at 167.9 billion yen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Try calling the 'rogue state of the USA' about Human Rights issues before pointing the finger.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Is kinda sad when muslim had to cry for aid in western countries and even in Japan, while the whole middle east is turning a blind eye toward these crimes. Heck, they practically are ignoring it. Aren't they very protective of their religion?

LOL! The Middle East (especially the peninsular where construction workers and domestic workers/slaves dropping dead like flies) and Japan have shameful working conditions themselves, especially for foreign workers. Maybe that's why. Saying something might put yourself in the spotlight.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Is kinda sad when muslim had to cry for aid in western countries and even in Japan, while the whole middle east is turning a blind eye toward these crimes. Heck, they practically are ignoring it. Aren't they very protective of their religion?

"In July 2019, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and other Muslim-majority states that pose as defenders of the faith helped to block a western motion at the United Nations calling for China to allow “independent international observers” into the Xinjiang region. Iran issues occasional criticisms but wants Chinese support in its struggle against the Trump administration and so keeps its complaints coded. Their hypocrisy is almost funny, if you take your humour black. Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilisation of Muslim women. They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

Many have been bought off. China is now a more active and influential voice at the United Nations because so many countries are benefiting from billions of dollars in Chinese investments through its “Belt and Road” infrastructure programme. As Norway found in 2010, and Australia found this year when it asked for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19, those who blaspheme against China face cyber-attacks and sanctions. Better to take the rewards and avoid the punishments."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/04/why-do-muslim-states-stay-silent-over-chinas-uighur-brutality

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A Chinese court this week gave death sentences to two Uyghur former government officials for engaging in “separatist activities.”

Shirzat Bawudun, a former head of the Xinjiang department of justice, was found to have conspired with a terrorist organization (the East Turkestan Islamic Movement), taken bribes, and illegally provided “information to foreign forces.” Sattar Sawut, a former director of the Xinjiang education department, was found guilty of incorporating ethnic separatism, violence, terrorism, and religious extremism content into Uyghur language textbooks.

https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/chinas-hard-and-soft-lines-on-xinjiang/

It's unclear whether these are capital crimes or trumped up charges.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Is kinda sad when muslim had to cry for aid in western countries and even in Japan, while the whole middle east is turning a blind eye toward these crimes. Heck, they practically are ignoring it. Aren't they very protective of their religion?

"They" aren't a monolithic group thought entity, and there are many sects and splinters that are in direct opposition to each other. Be it politically, culturally, economically or historically. Like sections of Christianity, in a way. Just look at sectarianism in Scotland and the occupied 6 counties in Ireland.

Genocide and crimes against humanity..... What utter nonsense. And an insult to those who suffered genocide.

No, a reminder that it still happens and will continue to happen while people try to justify or downplay it.

All just a ploy to undermine China. And so many fall for it...Sad.

The Beijing regime's treatment of Uighur people and the wumao bandwagon who support it are quite capable of doing that on their own.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

At first, I would be interested to know, what work or labor in the whole universe is kind of unforced. Even for cooking yourself a meal or doing a funny hobby you have to force yourself a bit, right? No? Then name some. Three are sufficient, should be an easy task now....lol

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

They should should Japanese history.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The only way to prevent another genocide is to take a United stand against China. Relocate production, restrict visas, put squeeze on the greedy and corrupt nations that support China.

Polite protestations won’t have any effect on the CCP, they are a shameless lot!!!!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The only way to prevent another genocide is to take a United stand against China.

Does anyone have a source for the number of Uighurs being killed? I keep looking but all I get are detention, concentration camps, forced labor, and genocide.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

When the Japanese government takes action against 'service zangyo' (forced labor, unpaid overtime, slave labor), then they'll be in a better position to criticize others.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Present Suga government of Japan who has prioritized to benefit corporation than defending safe of people from Covid-19 or radioactivity is very dull also about this issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Open question:

1/2 the time the West is against Muslims who hold extremist religious views, and the other 1/2 supporting those whom the Chinese Government are attempting to deal with... No signs of Gas Chambers yet or mass graves ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

quercetum

Don’t understand why Islamic countries have not condemned but instead praised China on this

Do you speak money? The CCP does.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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