Lawmakers from ruling and opposition parties launched a bipartisan group Tuesday to draw up legislation that will enable Japan to impose sanctions on countries over human rights abuses.

The move came in response to criticism that Japan has been slow to take action against such abuses occurring in China's far western Xinjiang region, Hong Kong and Myanmar, even after the United States and other Western countries have imposed sanctions.

The group, jointly led by Liberal Democratic Party member Gen Nakatani, a former defense minister, and Shiori Yamao, a House of Representatives member of the opposition Democratic Party for the People, aims to pass the legislation in the current session of the Diet.

"We need action not just words, so that people don't think that Japan is the only country avoiding this issue," Nakatani said at a meeting, attended by some 40 lawmakers from the LDP, its junior coalition partner Komeito, as well as opposition parties including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party and the Japan Innovation Party.

The parliamentary group confirmed its intention to adopt a Diet resolution calling for the immediate halt to human rights infringements in China and Myanmar.

It agreed to work toward the passage of a bill that will allow Japan to impose sanctions, such as asset freezes, on individuals and entities involved in such abuses.

The group also called for coordination with other Group of Seven nations over issues related to sanctions.

The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union.