Japan introduced Friday that it’s going to not ship a senior authorities delegation to the Winter Olympics in Beijing subsequent 12 months, however refused to name the choice a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games.
What did the Japanese authorities say?
Japanese authorities spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno mentioned there have been “no plans” for officers to attend the occasion.
“As Tokyo 2020 demonstrated to the world, the Olympics and the Paralympics are festivals of peace and sports activities that give braveness to the world,” Matsuno mentioned in a press convention explaining the choice. “Japan believes it is necessary that widespread values shared by the worldwide group similar to freedom, human rights and the rule of legislation are revered in China.”
On the similar time, Matsuno didn’t describe the transfer as a diplomatic boycott: “We do not use a specific time period to explain how we attend.”
Seiko Hashimoto, who led the Organizing Committee for the Tokyo Video games, and Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita will nonetheless attend the occasion in Beijing. Japanese Paralympic Committee chief Kazuyuki Mori will even journey to China for the Video games.
Which international locations are boycotting the Video games?
The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia have already introduced a diplomatic boycott of the video games over human rights issues, significantly with reference to Beijing’s remedy of its Uyghur Muslim minority and insurance policies towards Hong Kong. These international locations won’t ship authorities delegations, however athletes will nonetheless attend.
Though Japan enjoys shut ties with the US there are additionally sensible issues at play, as China is Tokyo’s largest international buying and selling accomplice.
China has slammed international locations which have introduced plans to boycott the Video games, saying they might “pay a value for his or her incorrect strikes.” Japan could also be cautious of financial repercussions from Beijing if it have been to label the choice as a boycott.
South Korea, one other US ally within the Asia-Pacific area, has refused to participate in a boycott, with Seoul saying China’s “constructive efforts” are wanted for denuclearization within the Korean Peninsula.
Germany has appeared hesitant to boycott the occasion, with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock calling for a standard European response on the problem. Different international locations refusing to take part within the boycott embody France and Russia.
The Winter Olympics in Beijing are anticipated to happen from February 4 to February 20. The continuing coronavirus pandemic will have an effect on the occasion, with unvaccinated overseas athletes required to quarantine upon arrival.
wd/fb (AP, AFP, dpa)