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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

North Korean athletes to be granted entry to Japan for 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games

At a press conference on Feb. 13, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that North Korean athletes will be granted entry to Japan for the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games, despite the reclusive state’s recent launch of a ballistic missile. The games are scheduled to open on Feb. 19. Currently the Japanese government in principle bans entry of North Korean citizens as a unilateral sanction against that nation. Suga said, “We see this as a special circumstance meriting treatment as an exception.” He noted: “There is a shared understanding throughout the sports world that discrimination based on nationality is prohibited. We expect to issue the travel certificates via the Japanese embassy in Beijing.”


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