Amid global calls for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, China on Friday urged Japan to take concrete actions to honour its word on supporting each other in hosting the Olympics and not politicize sports. “China welcomes representatives of Japan’s Olympic Committee and other organizations as well as Japanese athletes to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a daily press briefing. These remarks were made in response to media reports that Japan’s Olympic Committee President and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president will attend the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Japan has no plans to send a government delegation, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The Japanese side is hoped and urged to take concrete actions to honour its word on this and on not politicizing sports,” Zhao said. This comes as media reports said that the Japanese government has said it is not planning to send Cabinet ministers and other senior officials to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
With this decision, Japan has joined the likes of the US, Australia, Britain and Canada that have announced the diplomatic boycott of games over China’s human rights records. Japanese athletes, however, will attend the games in February as scheduled. The United States and other countries such as Australia, Britain and Canada have announced similar measures, citing China’s human rights record. Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he has no plans to attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.