Japan cites importance of human rights in not sending senior gov’t officials at Beijing Winter Olympics

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Beijing Winter Olympics 2022
Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 (Photo courtesy: AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec25’21) – Japan will not send any senior officials or Cabinet ministers to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, but stopped short of calling the decision, announced Dec 24, a diplomatic boycott. This followed the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s remark earlier this month that he did not plan to attend the Games.

Japan “believes that respect for human rights is important,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has said at a news conference. “We made a decision comprehensively.”

Matsuno has said Tokyo Olympics Chief Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, and Japan Paralympic Chief Kazuyuki Mori will still attend the event.

Kishida has faced rising pressure within his ruling party to take a tougher stance on China, noted the edition.cnn.com Dec 24, citing local media. The issue is a delicate one for Japan, which is a close partner of the United States which is leading the global diplomatic boycott of the Games but also has strong economic ties to its Asian neighbour.

The US is leading the diplomatic boycott, citing China’s “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.” Britain, Canada and Australia have followed its decision so far.

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