Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a daily column appearing on page 1 of The Asahi Shimbun.
Chinese national flags fly in many shops in Urumchi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in June 2019.
Numbers sometimes bring hidden facts to light. The British writer Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) referred in his « A Journal of the Plague Year » to the weekly newspaper « Bills of Mortality », which describes how the Great Plague struck London in the 17th century.
The weekly death certificates showed the number of burials in London per week. The usual number of burials per week was 300 or less, but the number was gradually increasing – 349, 394, 415 … Before there were newspapers reporting such things, the simple statistics caught the attention of Londoners.
The latest Chinese statistics contained some extraordinary data. The number of sterilization procedures performed on women in the Uyghur Autonomous Region in Xinjiang rose from just over 3,000 in 2014 to around 60,000 in 2018, a 19-fold jump.
Beijing became international for its brutal repression of the Uyghurs, an ethnic minority in China who make up half of the region’s population.
Last year, a German researcher published a report in which China was accused of forced sterilization and abortions against Uyghur women. The data on sterilization procedures appear to support the researcher’s claim that Beijing was involved in an inhumane campaign to curb the birth rates of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Earlier this year, the BBC reported firsthand that women in China’s camps for » political re-education ”for Uyghurs systematically tortured and sexually abused.
The Chinese government has denied the allegations, but Beijing needs to external scrutiny these facilities if it is to give credibility to its claims.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden discussed human rights violations against Uyghurs at their first face-to-face meeting on April 16 in Washington.
Human rights issues must never be used solely as an instrument to gain a political advantage over China. However, Japan should not overlook Beijing’s suppression of the Uyghurs out of consideration for its economic ties with China.
Japan and every other country have a duty to take a narrow path to work for the human rights of minorities while maintaining military tensions Avoid.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that covers a wide range of topics, including culture, art, and social trends and developments. The column was written by experienced Asahi Shimbun authors and offers useful perspectives and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.
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