Tokyo announced on Friday that Japan won’t send a governmental delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February. This move is likely in response to the increased tensions with China.
U.S’s decision to boycott the Games for human rights violation in China may have acted as a catalyst for Japan to make such decisions. Japan, however, has not explicitly labeled its move as such.
Still, Japan will instead send some officials who have direct connections to the Olympics, Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary, stated at a news conference.
Those officials include Seiko Hashimoto, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, and the national Olympic and Paralympic Committees members.
Japan believes it is essential that China ensures freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, and the rule of law. These are universal values for the international community. Matsuno stated that Japan addressed these issues directly with China at different levels.
“The Tokyo Games demonstrated that the Olympic and Paralympic Games celebrate peace and sport that gives courage to the world. Japan’s government analyzed these points and responded to the Beijing Winter Olympics.”
Matsuno stated that Japanese officials were not absent under any “specific terms,” which indicated that the government wasn’t calling the move a boycott.
Japan usually took a more sensible tone regarding the issue of human rights in China. This is due to its dependence on China as a manufacturing hub and a market for everything, from construction equipment to autos.
However, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is still under increasing pressure from his governing Liberal Democratic Party, NHK reported.
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