Statement on the Situation Surrounding Hong Kong (Statement by Press Secretary YOSHIDA Tomoyuki)
Since its return in 1997, Hong Kong has enjoyed prosperity brought about by a free and open system where diverse opinions are respected under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, and has developed as a financial center of Asia. From this perspective, it is the long-standing position of Japan to attach great importance to upholding a free and open system and ensuring the democratic and stable development of Hong Kong.
The changes to the electoral system in Hong Kong undermine the confidence in the “One Country, Two Systems” framework as provided for in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which have been the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s prosperity, and also represent a major setback for the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong, over which the international community has expressed over strong concerns. Japan too made clear that its grave concern was intensifying when China’s National People’s Congress decided to change the electoral system on March 11 and when the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress changed the provisions on the electoral system in the Hong Kong Basic Law on March 30. Japan reiterates its grave concern as the Legislative Council election was held in Hong Kong with the concerns of the international community left unaddressed.
Japan, as it has repeatedly stated, considers that it is important that relevant elections in Hong Kong are held in a fair manner that are open to candidates representing a wide range of political opinions. Japan will continue to cooperate with the international community in urging China to take concrete actions.