Tokyo, Dec 24:Japan announced Friday it won’t send a delegation of ministers to represent the government at the Beijing Games but three Olympic officials will attend, a mixed response to a US-led move to boycott the games to protest China’s human rights conditions.
Chief Cabinet Secretary HirokazuMatsuno 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 Kazuyuki Mori, the president of the Japan Paralympic Committee, will attend. Matsuno said the three officials are attending at the invitation of the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees to represent the JOC and IPC.Asked if it’s a diplomatic boycott,
Matsuno responded by saying: “We don’t use a particular term to describe how we attend.” Japan’s decision not to send a government delegation follows a move by the United States and a few other democratic nations including Australia, Britain and Canada, which cited China’s human rights violations.
Japan, as a US ally and considering its biggest trade partner is China, 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.