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Japan calls Belarus presidential inauguration ‘regrettable’

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting in Minsk, Belarus. (AP/file)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting in Minsk, Belarus. (AP/file)
People take part in an opposition rally to reject the presidential election results and to protest against the inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, on Saturday. (Reuters)
People take part in an opposition rally to reject the presidential election results and to protest against the inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, on Saturday. (Reuters)
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26 Sep 2020 09:09:54 GMT9
26 Sep 2020 09:09:54 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: The Japanese government called Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s inauguration ceremony “regrettable” and called for the country to stop oppressing citizens.

“Despite repeated calls from the international community, including Japan, many citizens conducting peaceful protest activities, continue to be detained and political turmoil persists in the Republic of Belarus,” said a statement by the foreign ministry in Tokyo.

Lukashenko began his sixth term as president with a private inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, after claiming victory in an election that has led to large-scale, ongoing protests in the country over the legitimacy of its results.

The Japanese statement criticized the decision by the Belarusian authorities to go ahead with the inauguration ceremony under the current circumstances and “without having made any efforts in national dialogue.”

“Japan continues to strongly urge the authorities of the Republic of Belarus to immediately cease the arbitrary detention and forceful oppression of citizens, engage in national dialogue that respects the principles of the rule of law and democracy, and make an earnest effort in responding to this situation,” the statement continued.

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