Indonesia and extrajudicial killings in West Papua: Japan not so concerned

Indonesia and extrajudicial killings in West Papua: Japan not so concerned

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The endless Javanization and altering of the ethnic and religious dynamics of West Papau are never-ending. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan is obsessed with human rights providing it concerns traces of anti-China and anti-Russian Federation angles. However, when it comes to West Papua, it isn’t only silence but more trade with Indonesia without a care in the world.

Special Rapporteurs – appointed by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council – have highlighted enormous abuses in West Papau by the government of Indonesia. This even includes the extrajudicial killings of West Papuan children.

UN News reports, “Between April and November 2021, we have received allegations indicating several instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, enforced disappearance, torture and inhuman treatment and the forced displacement of at least 5,000 indigenous Papuans by security forces.”

Approximately 100,000 have been displaced in recent years because of the authoritarian nature of the Indonesian government. Thousands of Papuans have also fled to the forest to escape.

Even humanitarian aid is being manipulated by the government of Indonesia, according to the Special Rapporteurs. UN News reports, “We are particularly disturbed by reports that humanitarian aid to displaced Papuans is being obstructed by the authorities.”

The Special Rapporteurs continue, “In several incidents, church workers have been prevented by security forces from visiting villages where IDPs are seeking shelter.”

The independent Special Rapporteurs have analyzed data, research, and took accounts of what is happening in West Papua. Of course, the main trading partners of Indonesia – China, America, Japan, Singapore, and others – care little about human rights providing international attention is limited. Hence, with Japan being a major investor in the market of Indonesia for decades – the deaths of millions concerning the massacre of communists, East Timor (now independent and called Timor-Leste), and the ongoing oppression in West Papua – meant little to Japan and other nations.

The Guardian reports, “Indonesia has controlled West Papua since invading in 1963 and formalizing its annexation through the controversial, UN approved, ‘Act of Free Choice’. Security forces are accused of severe human rights violations during the occupation with an estimated 500,000 Papuans killed.”

However, the past two administrations in Japan (Yoshihide Suga and the current leader Kishida) have raised human rights concerns in China. For the Suga administration, this was mainly based on anti-China angles concerning Hong Kong and Xinjiang (Buddhist Tibet no longer hits the headlines).

Kishida promises a new approach to human rights. Japan (in the past) mainly adopted “a quietist approach” and focused on trade. Hence, Japan was no more concerned about America dropping Agent Orange on Vietnam – to not concerning itself with the slaughter of communists in Indonesia along with the brutal ethnic cleansing of the people of East Timor and West Papua.

Sadly, Kishida’s new approach is to enact “anti-China and anti-Russian Federation” angles to his foreign policy. Thus human rights is basically an agenda aimed at China and the Russian Federation. Therefore, Japan will presumably not concern itself with events in West Papua because trade with Indonesia is the sole aim.

Astonishingly, while West Papua suffers, America and France just announced major military contracts with Indonesia. America said, “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia of F-15ID Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $13.9 billion.

Prabowo Subianto, the Defense Minister of Indonesia, uttered (concerning France), “We are planning to acquire 42 Rafale aircraft… We started this today with the signing of a contract for six aircraft, to be followed soon with another for 36 with necessary support and simulators…”

West Papua faces endless Javanization, Islamization, other ethnic groups being sent by Indonesia to alter the ethnic balance, and the exploitation of their natural resources by international capitalist companies.

Hence, while children are being killed by extrajudicial killings in West Papua by the Indonesian government, it is boom time for the military sectors of America and France. Likewise, companies in Japan will continue to make vast profits from Indonesia. Therefore, the human rights angle of Kishida means little to the people of West Papua.

Instead, it is “business as usual.”


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