Japan may not send ministers to attend Beijing Olympics, report says

The Japanese government is considering a decision to refrain from sending its ministers to the Beijing Winter Olympics, to align with the United States and others that have already announced diplomatic boycotts, the Yomiuri newspaper reported. , citing unidentified government and ruling party officials.

The government is considering whether to send Seiko Hashimoto, the chairperson of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee, instead, according to the report. He is also cautiously discussing whether Koji Murofushi, commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency, should attend, he said.

Japanese athletes will be dispatched as scheduled, Yomiuri reported. The government is expected to make a final decision by the end of the year, he added.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration faces increasing pressure from Japan and Japan to join the US-led diplomatic boycott.

Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party say Japan should follow in the footsteps of the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada by declaring a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

Kishida plans to wait and see how other countries react before making a decision. But calls for firm action against China, which has human rights issues, are growing every day.

The administration is “required to show a political stance and send a message on the human rights situation” in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur region, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Thursday. his faction at a meeting.

“Isn’t this the time to express Japan’s will?” Abe added, urging the government to make a decision early.

Meanwhile, the government remains cautious about making a quick decision.

“I will decide the response of the Japanese government at the appropriate time in the light of national interests after thoroughly considering diplomatic and other factors,” Kishida said Thursday at a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives.

However, a government official said pressure on Japan to join the boycott could increase after four countries decided to take concerted action on human rights issues.

“It is not good to come too late and become the last” to make a decision, a senior foreign ministry official said.

It is believed that Tokyo will decide whether or not to join the boycott after seeing the decisions made by France, where the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics will be held, and Germany.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that the Olympics should not be politicized, calling the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games an insignificant symbolic step.

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