Japan Not to Send Ministers to Beijing Olympics


Tokyo, Dec. 24 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided Friday to send no cabinet ministers to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics from next February.

"We'll not send a government delegation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan's top government spokesman, told a press conference the same day.

Tokyo apparently judged it necessary to keep in step with the United States, Britain and other countries that have announced diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Games over China's alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region and Hong Kong, sources familiar with the situation said.

"Japan believes it is important that freedom, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law, which are universal values of the international community, are guaranteed in China," Matsuno said. "We made the decision ourselves, taking these points into consideration."

From Japan, Seiko Hashimoto, president of the organizing committee for this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita and Japanese Paralympic Committee chief Kazuyuki Mori will attend the Beijing Games.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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