435 Japanese tourists sign up for trip to Xinjiang organized by China’s Consulate-General in Osaka
Published: Dec 06, 2021 05:34 PM
The night market in Hami, Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16, with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances. Photo: IC

The night market in Hami, Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16, with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances. Photo: IC

So far 435 Japanese people have applied for a trip to Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to improve their understanding of the region, sources from China's Consulate-General in Osaka told the Global Times, noting they plan to start the journey after the pandemic comes to an end.

The response came after the consulate-general in Osaka published a notice on Thursday, inviting people from Japan to travel to Xinjiang after the end of the COVID-19 outbreak. The invitation has sparked wide attention in Japanese media.

The consulate's notice highlighted Xinjiang's "beautiful scenery," "delicious food" and "beauty," according to a report on the Tokyo Sports news website. 

"Xinjiang is a good place. However, in recent years, slanders and lies about Xinjiang have emerged one after another, causing great misunderstanding and harming the image of Xinjiang and China," said the notice.

Therefore, in order for people to check out the real situation in Xinjiang by themselves, the Consulate-General in Osaka is recruiting Japanese tourists to travel to Xinjiang next year, according to the notice. 

"Please come to Xinjiang, see with your own eyes, hear with your own ears and feel with your heart," said the notice with a link for readers to sign up.

Some US-led Western countries continue to hype the "human rights problems" in Xinjiang, and some Japanese media also spread rumors about the region. Tokyo Sports said in its report that Xinjiang is a hot spot and sensitive area in China, and some Japanese netizens are concerned that a trip to Xinjiang is a "one-way trip" that "may be monitored during the trip."

Responding to a Japanese politician who doubted if he would return to Japan after joining the trip, Chinese Consul General in Osaka Xue Jian tweeted on Sunday encouraging people to join the trip. "What you should worry about is not whether you can return to Japan, but that you will know the truth about Xinjiang and the hoax you have believed until now will be broken," said Xue, adding that the visit will be open and transparent.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said that China firmly opposes Japan's unreasonable accusations against China on the so-called Hong Kong- and Xinjiang-related issues. The spokesperson's remarks came after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he was "deeply concerned" about human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang when attending the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting via video. 

Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights at all, but about anti-terrorism, de-radicalization and anti-separatism, said the spokesperson. The Chinese government's crackdown on violent and terrorist activities in accordance with the law is the best way to safeguard the human rights of the people of all ethnic groups in the region, the spokesperson noted.

Over the past few years, more than 1,000 diplomats and journalists from more than 100 countries and regions have visited Xinjiang. China said on many occasions that it invites more foreign people who are interested in Xinjiang to visit, see with their own eyes the development and changes in the region, and feel the real Xinjiang.