Activist denied Japanese visa
By SHARON CHEUNG
LABOUR activist Han Dongfang has been denied a visa by the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong, preventing him from attending an international conference on labour and human rights to be held in Kyoto this week.
It is the second time a visa application by Mr Han, 31, has been rejected. He was denied last year when he applied to take part in a regional conference of the international Labour Federation of Food Industries.
Mr Han made his latest application early this month and was turned down the same day. He was due to address the Kyoto conference on China's violation and suppression of labour rights. The conference runs parallel to the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation conference in Osaka.
Mr Han accused the Japanese Consulate of being 'bureaucratic' and fearing his presence in the Kyoto meeting would embarrass Beijing. The application had been refused for political reasons, he said.
Vice-Consul Tsuguyoshi Haba, said it was policy not to accept applications in third countries, except where the applicant has right of residence in the third country. 'Mr Han has to follow our procedure,' he said.