Japan Prime Minister Abe is the first head of state to visit during the Duterte administration.
Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, File
Human Rights Watch: Japan should condemn Duterte's drug war
Kristian Javier (Philstar.com) - February 17, 2017 - 2:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — Japan should condemn President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs and not condone it, international group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Friday.

HRW Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine said Tokyo turned a blind eye to the country's "abusive drug war" while the United States and the European Union have publicly criticized the rising cases of alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

Duterte's crackdown on illegal drugs has left more than 7,000 suspected drug offenders — both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings, since he took office in June.
 
According to Kine, showing a lack of commitment in addressing human rights violations is not only a "wasted opportunity."
 
"It doubtlessly gives encouragement to a government that deems as 'inhuman' those slaughtered in its anti-drug campaign," Kine said in a dispatch released Friday.
 
The HRW director noted that Japan had plenty of opportunities to address the problem, such as during the Philippines-Japan vice-ministerial meeting in Tokyo on February 10, but failed to do so. 
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also made a state visit to the Philippines last January 12 to 13 to renew its ties with the country. During the two-day official visit, Abe extended financial assistance in building a drug rehabilitation center in the country as support to the Philippines' anti-drug campaign. 
 
"But during his visit and afterward, Abe made no public reference to the 'war on drugs' and its brutal cost in lives and the impact on affected families," said Kine. 
 
"It needs to make clear that unless Duterte decisively ends the killings and prosecutes those responsible, he risks a suspension of Japanese financial aid, training programs, and equipment sales to the Philippine National Police," he added. 

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PHELIM KINE RODRIGO DUTERTE WAR ON DRUGS
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