The Japanese Foreign Ministry finds it unfortunate that the Belarusian authorities held the inauguration ceremony of the President without “any attempts at national dialogue,” which “does not contribute to improving the situation” in the country.
“Despite repeated calls from the international community, including Japan, arrests of peaceful protesters and political instability continue in Belarus. Despite this situation, the Belarusian authorities held the inauguration ceremony of the President without making any attempts at national dialogue. This does not help improve the situation in the country and is unfortunate,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in its press release.
It is noted that Japan continues “to urge the authorities of the Republic of Belarus to immediately stop the unjustified detention of citizens and engage in dialogue with people.
Mass opposition protests began across Belarus on August 9, after the presidential election, in which Alexander Lukashenko won – according to the CEC, he won 80.1% of the vote. During the first days of the protests, the law enforcement agencies suppressed the protesters who did not agree with the results, using tear gas, light-noise grenades, and rubber bullets. According to official data, over 6.7 thousand people were detained during the first days. As the Interior Ministry reported then, hundreds of people were injured in the riots, including over 130 law enforcement officers. The protests have been going on for a month now. In addition, events are held by supporters of Lukashenko.
On Wednesday, Lukashenko took office as President of Belarus. The inauguration ceremony was held at the Independence Palace. This provoked a new wave of protest actions, including attempts to block the roads. During the Wednesday protests, police again used water cannons to disperse protesters in Minsk. A number of Western countries stated that the inauguration was illegitimate.