British think tank funded by Japan pushing anti-China campaign into mainstream UK media

A British think tank is being funded by Japan to run a propaganda campaign against Chinese foreign policy.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind was approached to put his name to an article on article on China’s nuclear plans

The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) is a registered charity run by Alan Mendoza, an unsuccessful Tory candidate at the 2015 general election, which promotes an interventionist foreign policy to protect democracy and human rights.

The charity is reportedly receiving around £10,000 a month from the Japanese embassy in London to encourage politicians and journalists to speak out against China's international political moves.

The campaign is said to revolved around a “communications strategy” aimed at putting Japan’s issues “on the radar of mainstream UK journalists and politicians”, including reporters on The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Economist.

Former foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, revealed that he had been approached by the HJS to author an article in The Daily Telegraph last August which propagated concerns around China’s involvement in Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.

Rifkind stated that he had no knowledge of the HJS’s financial relationship with the Japanese embassy and should have "informed me of that relationship when they asked me to support the article they provided".

The relationship between the HJS and the embassy began last year and is reportedly due for renewal in April, according to reports in the Times.

The campaign reflects tensions between China and Japan and highlights Japan's concerns of a growing relationship between the UK and China. While on a visit to Shanghai in September 2015 former chancellor, George Osborne's, called for a golden decade” of Sino-British co- operation.

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