Japan cross-party group may send election observers to Hong Kong

A cross-party group of Japanese lawmakers will consider sending a team of observers to Hong Kong in an effort to make sure that its Legislative Council election in September will be held in a fair manner, after China recently enforced a new security law strengthening control over the region.

The group, slated to be officially launched on Wednesday, is also expected to urge the Japanese government to relax visa requirements for Hong Kong citizens and not to assist investigations of those suspected of violating the security law, sources related to the group said.

Many fear that people opposing the security law will be barred from running in the Hong Kong legislative election by local authorities.

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Former Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, a lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and one of those who led the establishment of the group, said in an interview that it is considering assembling a monitoring team for dispatch to Hong Kong for the September election.

“The election should reflect the will of the people and must be held in a fair manner so that it can be recognized by the international society,” he said.

Nakatani, a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan’s parliament, added that the envisioned observer team will see whether the composition of voters for the functional constituencies are appropriate. Members of the Legislative Council are selected from such constituencies, which represent business sectors, and geographical constituencies.

Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/07/27/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-lawmakers-election-observers-hong-kong/