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

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

"It is important that universal values such as freedom, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law are guaranteed in China," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. "I have made a comprehensive consideration," he noted.

But Kishida also said 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.

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