Japan's Abe urged to denounce PH drug war ahead of Duterte visit

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) - As President Rodrigo Duterte flies to Japan tonight for a working visit, an international human rights group called on the country to denounce the Philippines' drug war.

In a statement on Friday, Human Rights Watch Asia Deputy Director Phelim Kine said Duterte's visit to Japan should not be "business-as-usual," adding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should "publicly call on Duterte to end 'drug war' killings and take steps toward meaningful accountability for those deaths."

"Abe should recognize that the human rights calamity that Duterte has inflicted on the Philippines should be met with a concerted response from partners of the Philippines, including Japan, who value universal human rights and rule of law," Kine said.

Kine added aside from "decrying Duterte's killing campaign," the Japanese Prime Minister should also demonstrate support for a United Nations-led investigation on the deaths related to the drug war.

The group said 7,000 suspected drug users and drug dealers have been killed by police and "unidentified gunmen" since Duterte took office.

Government data, however, show 3,967 drug personalities have died in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to October 25, 2017.

 

The foreign affairs department on Wednesday said the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral economic, industrial, social, and security issues, among others.

"Discussions are also expected to include regional developments, including peace and stability in the region, particularly in the Korean Peninsula," it added.

READ: Duterte visiting Japan for meetings with Abe, gov't officials

The human rights advocate said Japan should also commit to support only "voluntary, community-based drug dependence treatment services that comport with international standards and human rights principles."

In April, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided a 1.85 billion yen (around P838.57 million) to establish treatment and rehabilitation facilities, and strengthen "medical treatment system and medical policies for illegal drug users."

JICA is a government agency providing aid and loans to Japan's partner countries.