Gay rights a non-issue for Asian leaders

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iol pic wld Russia Sochi World Leaders~3 AP Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, delivers his speech in Tokyo. Picture: Koji Sasahara

Tokyo -

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Chinese counterpart appear not to be bothered by the international ruckus over Russia's law restricting gay rights.

Unlike President Barack Obama, who pointedly declined to attend the Winter Olympics, the leaders of the world's second and third largest economies - where gay rights are not a hot-button political issue - are going to Sochi.

China's media barely mention the Russian law banning pro-gay activities that could be accessible to minors. That's partly because of Beijing's strict insistence on non-interference in other countries' affairs, but also a reflection of relatively little public discourse on gay rights.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says it pays close attention to human rights in Russia, “but we do not link it with Prime Minister Abe's attendance at the Sochi Olympics.” - Sapa-AP

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