Statement on the Situation surrounding Hong Kong
（Statement by Press Secretary YOSHIDA Tomoyuki）
March 30, 2021
- 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 System" framework, and has developed as a financial center of Asia. From this perspective, Japan has consistently expressed its long-standing position to attach great importance to upholding a free and open system and ensuring the democratic and stable development of Hong Kong.
- With regard to the recent situation surrounding Hong Kong, Japan has raised its voice with other like-minded countries on various occasions, including bilaterally with the US as well as jointly with Australia, India, and the US. Japan also articulated its position at the Human Rights Council in February. Furthermore, regarding the decision by the National People's Congress on March 11 to change the electoral system in Hong Kong, Japan has expressed strong concerns with the international community, as shown by the G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement issued on March 13, stating that the decision would stifle political pluralism in Hong Kong, contrary to the aim of moving towards universal suffrage as set out in the Hong Kong Basic Law. Japan’s grave concern is intensifying as provisions on the electoral system in the Hong Kong Basic Law have been changed by China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress without listening to the voice of strong concern from the international community.
- In particular, the change this time will further undermine the confidence in the ‘One Country Two System’ framework as provided for in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration which has been the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s prosperity. It also goes against the ultimate aim of the Hong Kong Basic Law to have the Chief Executive and all members of the Legislative Council elected by universal suffrage. This represents a major setback for the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong. Japan cannot overlook this.
- Japan calls on China to hold relevant elections in Hong Kong in a fair manner that are open to candidates representing a wide range of political opinions. Japan has conveyed such views to China and will continue to cooperate with the international community in urging China to take concrete actions.