Guwahati: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering cancelling a trip to India that was to have started on this Sunday, claims Japan’s Jiji Press.
The news came amid violent protests in the Northeast over a new citizenship law approved by Parliament.
It is reported in several sections of media that the cancellation would be a blow to Abe’s policy of cultivating ties with India to balance out China’s growing power in the region. Abe had been scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Assam, one of the regions where demonstrations have turned violent.
Also, there are reports stating that other Japanese media were also reporting that the visit was called off with public broadcaster NHK saying that Abe had decided to postpone and a formal announcement would come later Friday.
The new Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was approved on Wednesday had changed the rules governing the granting of citizenship to undocumented migrants to include religion as a criterion. It bars undocumented Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh from seeking Citizenship, while allowing their counterparts from other religions to do so.
It may be mentioned that recently, angry protests have erupted in Assam with thousands clashing with police amid concerns the new laws may lead to an influx of migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. There have also been demonstrations in other northeastern states including Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura, forcing the Government to send in hundreds of soldiers to aid local police.