Japan, France agree G-7 message on Hong Kong, NHK, East Asia News & Top Stories

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TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Japan and France have agreed that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of Seven countries should soon issue a statement on their concerns over Hong Kong, the state-run NHK reported, citing a government source.

NHK’s report on Thursday June 11 comes a day after China protested Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assertion that he wanted Japan to take the initiative to issue a joint statement. Japan has repeatedly expressed concern over China’s national security laws which could put people and businesses operating in the former British colony at greater risk of investigation and prosecution.

The deal came during an appeal between Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, NHK said. The Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the two ministers “shared serious concerns about the decision of the Chinese National Congress on policies regarding Hong Kong.”

Legislation has revived protests in Hong Kong after months of pro-democracy protests last year sparked by opposition to an abandoned bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland.

The G-7 statement should include an expression of concern and an appeal to China to maintain the “one country, two systems” framework, NHK said. As part of this arrangement, China has agreed with the UK to maintain a “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong, preserving its liberal institutions and capitalist economic structure, for at least 50 years after the return of the city in 1997.



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