World, Asia - Pacific

Japan’s premier may cancel India visit amid protests

Planned venue of summit between Indian, Japanese premiers engulfed in violent protests over controversial citizenship law

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 13.12.2019
Japan’s premier may cancel India visit amid protests File Photo

ANKARA

Japanese prime minister may cancel his visit to India, as the planned venue is engulfed in violent protests over a controversial citizenship law, according to media reports on Friday.

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering canceling a trip to India, set to start Sunday, due to the deteriorating security situation there,” according to Japan’s JiJi Press.

Shinzo Abe was planned to travel to Guwahati -- capital of the northeastern Assam state -- on Dec. 15-17 for an annual summit with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Officials from Tokyo and New Delhi are negotiating on the possibility of changing the meeting venue, the report said citing informed sources.

On Thursday, India’s parliament passed a bill that would grant citizenship to six minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh -- all Muslim-majority nations in South Asia.

The move triggered mass protests in India’s northeastern provinces, with Assam its epicenter. Indian authorities have imposed curfew and also snapped internet in parts of Assam and its neighboring provinces -- including Meghalaya and Tripura -- to halt the protests.

The controversial law was enacted after Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed it on Thursday.

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