Japan will not send officials to the Winter Olympics in Beijing

TOKYO – Japan said on Friday it would join the United States and other allies in refraining from sending cabinet-level officials to the Winter Olympics in Beijing, but it avoided calling the move a war. diplomatic boycott.

Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said Seiko Hashimoto, a member of the National Assembly who heads the organizing committee for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, as well as the head of Japan’s Olympic committee, Yasuhiro Yamashita, will represent for Japan in Beijing. Mr. Matsuno said no cabinet members or other officials in Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration would attend.

When asked if Japan would make a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics, the spokesman said, “We are not thinking of using a specific name” to describe the move. .

The Biden administration on December 6 said US officials would boycott the game, and it said the reason for the boycott was to point out China for its criticism of human rights abuses. China lashed out at the US, saying the boycott goes against the spirit of the Olympics and offends the Chinese people.

Some America’s allies have followed suit, including Australia and the United Kingdom, while others do not. Countries participating in the diplomatic boycott will still send athletes to participate in the Winter Olympics.

Japan, which has deep economic ties to China, went ahead. By not appointing a cabinet member, the country is effectively performing the same as the United States, but its rhetoric is different. Mr. Matsuno, the spokesman, avoided specific criticisms of Beijing while echoing normative language about Tokyo’s concern for human rights in China.

After locking millions of people in camps in Xinjiang, the Chinese regime is destroying Uighur settlements and wiping out the culture of the region. They say they are fighting terrorism. Their aim: to build a society loyal to Beijing. Illustration: Sharon Shi. Video: Clément Bürge

Mr. Matsuno also uses Coronavirus as a reason not to send officials, saying that pandemic-related restrictions would limit their activities in Beijing.

China is Japan’s top trading partner and buys about a quarter of Japan’s total exports.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/japan-wont-send-officials-to-winter-olympics-in-beijing-11640320579 Japan will not send officials to the Winter Olympics in Beijing

Ian Walker

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