The exiled leader of China’s Uighur minority arrived in Japan for a visit that has angered Beijing,which accuses her of masterminding recent ethnic violence in the country’s remote northwest.
Rebiya Kadeer,62,the US-based head of the World Uighur Congress,was expected to use her visit to call for support for the mainly Muslim minority,following deadly clashes this month in the Xinjiang region.
The mother of 11 and grandmother,wearing a traditional Uighur hat,was greeted at Tokyo’s Narita airport by a handful of her Japanese supporters waving flags and a sign that read “Free the Uighurs.”
China’s foreign ministry yesterday expressed “strong dissatisfaction” about Japan’s decision to allow entry to Kadeer,who spent around six years in a Chinese prison before being released under US pressure in 2005.
“Ignoring China’s repeated and solemn representations,the Japanese Government persisted in allowing Rebiya (Kadeer) to engage in anti-China separatist activities,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
Kadeer’s supporters today said she cut her planned five-day trip short to three days so she can return to Washington and join a closed-door committee session on foreign policy in the US Congress on Friday.