Japan urges Egypt to respond properly to human rights concerns

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conveyed to Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi on Wednesday Tokyo's hope that Cairo will respond appropriately to concerns over human rights in the wake of the brutal crackdown on supporters of ouster Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

In a telephone conversation, Kishida also asked Fahmi to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals remaining in the country. The Egyptian foreign minister replied that Egypt will do its utmost to ensure their safety, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry officials.

"The fact that a vast number of people have become victims is extremely shocking and must not be repeated," Kishida was quoted as telling Fahmi, urging Egypt to return to a democratic process.

Fahmi said that despite the turmoil in recent days, in which more than 900 Egyptians died amid the crackdown on protesters and in other clashes, the military-backed government is working to restore order and lift a curfew in due time, according to the officials.