Photo/Illutration Gen Nakatani, a former defense minister, speaks to reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the prime minister’s office on Nov. 8. (Koichi Ueda)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will appoint Gen Nakatani, a former defense minister, to a new post of special adviser to the prime minister on human rights issues to deal with abuses in China.

Kishida told Nakatani about his decision to appoint him to the newly created post when they met at the prime minister’s office on the morning of Nov. 8.

“I would like to deal with international human rights issues according to the prime minister’s instructions,” Nakatani told reporters after the meeting.

The move comes as the international community is concerned about human rights abuses in China. Kishida is apparently trying to show his willingness to address human rights issues to keep the country in check.

Nakatani, 64, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, will be appointed to the post in Kishida’s second Cabinet to be launched after he is elected afresh as prime minister in a special Diet session to be convened on Nov. 10.

During campaigning for the LDP presidential election in September, Kishida indicated that he would create the new post with human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Hong Kong in mind.

Nakatani has been elected to the Lower House 11 times and currently represents the Kochi No. 1 district in Kochi Prefecture. He has served in many key party posts, including chairperson of the LDP’s Research Commission on National Security.

He now serves as co-chair of the Nonpartisan Parliamentary Association for Reconsidering Human Rights Diplomacy. The association was established in April to enact a Japanese version of the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which would allow Japan to slap sanctions on parties it deems guilty of human rights abuses overseas.