Japanese authorities are investigating a report from a human rights group that China has set up police offices in Japan, a top government spokesperson said yesterday, following similar checks by European countries, the US and Canada.
Safeguard Defenders, an Asia-focused rights group based in Spain, has published two reports since September indicating that Chinese authorities have established 102 overseas police stations in 53 countries, including Japan.
Chinese authorities have dismissed the accusations and said the facilities are volunteer-run centers that help Chinese citizens renew documents and offer other services that were disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will take all necessary steps as we clarify the situation,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference when asked about the government’s response to the report.
Matsuno earlier said that Japan had told Chinese authorities through diplomatic channels that “it would be unacceptable if there was any activity that violates Japan’s sovereignty.”
Safeguard Defenders said in a September report that police from the Chinese city of Fuzhou had set up a “service station” in Tokyo.
The group indicated in a follow-up report that China had another such station in the Japanese city of Nantong.
Japan’s investigation comes after similar checks by Western governments into the reports that alleged that the Chinese police were targeting Chinese nationals living abroad and pressuring some to return home to face criminal charges.
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