Saturday’s Asahi, Sankei, and Nikkei wrote that a group of conservative members of the ruling LDP decided on Friday to call on the GOJ to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled for February to protest China’s human rights violations. The lawmakers are planning to submit their request to Prime Minister Kishida and Foreign Minister Hayashi soon. Aoyama Shigeharu, an Upper House member who heads the group, told reporters on Friday that sending a delegation of Japanese officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics would convey the wrong message to the international community. However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said at a news conference on Friday that the GOJ has not yet made any decision on the matter and will do so at the appropriate time after considering the various factors involved. A senior Foreign Ministry official also said Japan is not yet certain what the diplomatic boycott being considered by the United States entails.
Sunday’s Sankei wrote that Japan has yet to announce whether to join the boycott because it remains to be seen whether the United States and European nations will implement a diplomatic boycott and there is a possibility that China will refuse to accept foreign visitors for the Olympics out of concern over the infiltration of the novel coronavirus. Quoting an unnamed senior GOJ official as saying it is still early for Japan to announce its decision on the matter, the paper speculated that Japan, which needs to strike a balance between its relations with China and consideration for the United States and Europe, is trying not to get ahead of the international community on the issue.