Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno avoided calling the decision a boycott, but said:
we have no plans to send government officials.
” Japan believes it is important that common values shared by the international community, such as freedom, human rights and the rule of law, are also respected in China. “
On the other hand, the president of the Tokyo-2020 Olympic organizing committee Seiko Hashimoto will visit the site, as well as the president of the Japanese Olympic committee Yasuhiro Yamashita, said the spokesperson for the Japanese government.
Ms. Hashimoto will go to Beijing
to express gratitude and respect to the athletes and others who supported the Tokyo Games organized last summer, he added.
Japan made this decision after
a thorough examination of the question. It came after the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada this month announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games (February 4-20, 2022) to denounce human rights abuses. human rights in China.
China warns these four Western countries, which will send athletes to the Games, but not officials, that they will pay
the price of their bad move, without specifying what reprisals were being considered.
On Friday, the spokesperson in Tokyo pointed out that
the Japanese government did not intend to use a specific expression regarding the presence of Japan to JO winter in China, while noting that the U.S. announcement did not include the phrase
A few hours later, in Beijing, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the arrival of the
Japanese Olympic Committee and other relevant officials, as well as Japanese athletes, while asserting that China
urges the Japanese side to honor their pledges to support each other in hosting the Olympics and not to politicize the sport.
Japan, host of the Tokyo 2020 Games postponed for a year due to the coronavirus, finds itself in a delicate diplomatic position between the United States and China, two major trading partners, and had so far failed to do so. know its position.
South Korea, another ally of the United States, for its part announced early last week that it would not diplomatically boycott the Games, citing the need to continue to cooperate with China.
For its part, Russia considers the
diplomatic boycott as an attempt to politicize JO and confirmed that President Vladimir Putin would go to JO Beijing winter.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has invoked its
neutrality on the matter, declining to comment on
purely political decisions and especially rejoicing at the absence of a sports boycott.
According to human rights organizations, at least one million Uyghurs and other Turkish-speaking minorities, mainly Muslims, are being held in camps in Xinjiang. China is accused of forcibly sterilizing women there and imposing forced labor.
The United States denounces
genocide on this subject. Beijing claims that the camps are in fact
vocational training centers to fight radicalization.
China regularly accuses the United States of using the issue of human rights to thwart its economic development and challenge its growing place in international affairs.
Beijing also lambasted the G7 and the European Union, which on Monday announced their
deep concern after
erosion of the democracy seen in Hong Kong last weekend during the local legislative elections.