Ahead of Duterte’s visit to Japan, HRW urges PM Abe to condemn PH’s anti-drug war

Oct. 28, 2017

In this file photo taken on October 26, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe shared a light moment during the declaration of joint statement following the expanded bilateral meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Japan (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A New York-based human rights group called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to end his silence in the face of the Duterte’s administration war on illegal drugs.

“Duterte’s upcoming visit to Japan provides senior Japanese officials a fresh opportunity to end their long silence on the Philippine government’s murderous ‘war on drugs,’” Phelim Kine, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division, said in a statement on Saturday, October 28.

HRW’s Kine issued such call ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit in Japan on October 29-31 for talks with the Japanese Prime Minister.

He added Abe should publicly call on the Dutere administration to end the “drug war” killings and take steps toward meaningful accountability for those deaths.

Both the United States and the European Parliament have publicly criticized the extrajudicial killings of “more than 12,000 suspected drug users and dealers” since Duterte assumed presidency.

“The Japanese government has adopted a wholly uncritical business-as-usual posture with the Philippine government,” Kine noted.

Japan’s silence in the face of massive rights abuses was on display during Abe’s January 12-13 state visit to the Philippines. It can be recalled that during his visit, he announced a five-year, US$800 million assistance package to “promote economic and infrastructure development.”

“Abe should recognize that the human rights calamity that Duterte has inflicted on the Philippines should be met with a concerted response from partners of the Philippines, including Japan, who value universal human rights and rule of law,” the HRW said.(davaotoday.com)

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