Nikkei wrote that pressure is growing within the LDP on Prime Minister Kishida to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. Many conservative lawmakers, including former Prime Minister Abe and Policy Research Council Chairwoman Takaichi, are reportedly pressing the Kishida administration to take a concerted line with the United States, Australia, the UK, and Canada, which have already decided not to send government delegations to the international sporting event. According to the article, Abe said during a meeting of his faction yesterday: “Japan needs to issue a political message on the human rights situation [in China]. It is high time [for the Japanese government] to make its position known.”
The daily opined that if more G7 nations, including Japan, implement diplomatic boycotts of the Games, it will serve as a clear message to China and have a positive effect on Japan’s security cooperation with its G7 partners in the face of Beijing’s rapid arms buildup. The Kishida administration is reportedly carefully weighing various scenarios, including not sending high-ranking government officials without announcing the move in advance, to avoid antagonizing either the United States or China. A dispatch of senior JOC officials, on behalf of GOJ officials, appears to be one option. The daily said if the administration fails to make a decision until early January and more European countries join the U.S.-led boycott by the end of this year, Japan’s slow response will become conspicuous.