File photo: Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Photograph:( AFP )
Japan, a close ally of the United States, is concerned about what it perceives as growing threats from China. But it is also economically reliant on its neighbour, both as a manufacturing hub and as a customer for its automobiles and other products.
Fumio Kishida, Japan's prime minister, confirmed on Thursday that he would not be attending the Beijing Olympics in February.
His comments in parliament came after the US launched a diplomatic boycott of the games in response to mounting criticism of China's human rights record, a decision that has been echoed by other nations such as Australia and the United Kingdom.
The question of whether Japan will send top officials to the Winter Olympics in February has resurfaced, following the announcements by the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom that their officials will not attend the games.
According to Kishida, Japan would make a decision after thoroughly considering numerous concerns in the national interest.
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The boycotts have been described by China as "political posturing" and a smear campaign.
Kishida made the remark in the House of Representatives.
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Japan, a key ally of the US, is concerned about what it believes to be escalating Chinese threats.
But, as a manufacturing hub and a buyer for its autos and other products, it is economically dependent on its neighbour.
According to the Yomiuri newspaper, senior Japanese government officials are likely to miss the Games, despite government officials saying that nothing has been determined so far.
(With inputs from agencies)