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Gay rights a non-issue for Asian leaders

World

Tokyo -

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, delivers his speech reiterating Japan's demand to Russia to return the four-island chain, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Kuril islands in Russia, during a national rally marking the Northern Territories Day in Tokyo. The banner on the wall reads: "Return the four northern islands."in Tokyo, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 in Tokyo, (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

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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