Sunday, January 23, 2022

Japan will not send official delegation to Beijing Olympics

TOKYO ( Associated Press) – Japan announced Friday that it will not send a delegation of ministers to represent the government at the Beijing Games, but three Olympic officials will participate, calling for a boycott of the Games to protest China’s human rights The US-led move terms the mixed reaction.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a regular news conference that “we have no plans to send a government delegation.”

He said Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita and Japan Paralympic Committee President Kazuyuki Mori would participate.

Matsuno said three officials are participating at the invitation of the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees to represent the JOC and IPC.

Asked if it was a diplomatic boycott, Matsuno responded by saying: “We don’t use any specific words to describe how we participate.”

Japan’s decision not to send a government delegation follows a move by the United States and some other democratic countries, including Australia, Britain and Canada, that cited China’s human rights violations.

Japan, as a US ally and considering China as its largest trading partner, is in a difficult position and has taken a softer approach than its Western partners on human rights situations in China’s Xinjiang region and Hong Kong.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made human rights an important part of his diplomacy and has created a special advisory position to deal with the issue, saying he looks forward to building a constructive relationship with China. He was asked repeatedly what to do about the Beijing Olympics in recent weeks, but he only said he had to make the decision broader in the interest of Japan’s national interest.

“Japan believes it is important for China to guarantee the universal values ​​of freedom, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law, which are universal values ​​in the international community,” Matsuno said. He said Japan took those points into account in making its decision.

China has criticized the United States and other countries for violating the political neutrality required in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

Nation World News Desk
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