Monday, 30 August 2010

Exposing Japan's Human Rights Violations

Exposing Japan's Human Rights Violations

A new website launched yesterday exposes human rights violations in Japan tied to abductions and forced conversions of religious minorities in Japan.

Forced conversions and abductions in Japan are a hidden human rights crime that denies people the fundamental right to worship freely.  The site,  will pursue justice on behalf of victims and hold the government of Japan accountable for their failure to prosecute these crimes against humanity.

The new website hosts news articles and videos of kidnap victims, as well as a petition, calling on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to hold Congressional hearings into Japan's violation of international human rights treaties.

The European Leadership Conference in a fact finding tour to Japan recently held a summit featuring world renowned human rights activists who attest to the abuses taking place in Japan.

According to human rights activist Aaron Rhodes: "This is a nightmare because public authorities [in Japan] are in collusion with criminals."

After many interviews with victims of religious abductions and forced conversions in Japan, Peter Zoehrer, a journalist in Europe, concluded:
  • Police in Japan often refuse to help victims of abduction and forced conversion
  • In some cases, police in Japan cooperate with the perpetrators
  • In several decades, not a single case has been prosecuted in Japan
  • Japanese civil courts treat the problem as a "family matter"
The website petition, from the International Coalition for Religious Freedom, calls on Congress to hold hearings before the end of the year about religious and human rights abuses taking place in Japan – one of America's great trading partners.  These hearings should be held by the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights, co-chaired by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).

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