Japanese prime minister says he doesn’t plan to attend Beijing Olympics
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he doesn’t plan to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, but stopped short of saying Japan was participating in a full diplomatic boycott.
“At the moment, I have no plans to attend,” Kishida said in parliament on Thursday when asked if he would be going, Kyodo News reported.
“It is important to make a judgment by myself at an appropriate time after comprehensively taking into account various issues in consideration of the national interest,” he added.
Ruling party sources told the outlet Japan is considering a couple options, including just sending the president of the organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics or the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee to the Games.
China pushed back later Thursday on the prime minister’s comment, saying he is going against the Olympic charter by politicizing the Games.
“China is confident of hosting a simple, safe and exciting Olympic event,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
Multiple countries have announced diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Olympics due to human rights violations involving the Chinese government.
The boycotts began after the U.S. first announced the move, citing the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the northwest Xinjiang region. The United Kingdom and Australia have since followed suit.
However, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday that a majority of the 90 countries participating in Beijing Olympics have not joined the diplomatic boycott.
China has denied accusations of human rights violations in the country and accused critical foreign governments of interference.