Senior Japanese officials likely to skip Beijing Winter Olympics

Earlier this week, Canada joined Australia, Britain and the US in saying they would not send top officials to the Games. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Senior Japanese government officials will likely skip the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, joining the US in a diplomatic boycott, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Saturday (Dec 11), citing multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

Earlier this week, Canada joined Australia, Britain and the United States in saying that they would not send top officials to the Games, citing longstanding concerns over China's human rights record.

China has called the boycotts "political posturing" and a smear campaign.

The Yomiuri said Japan is likely to make a formal decision by the end of the month. The only officials now expected to attend are Olympics-related personnel, including Ms Seiko Hashimoto, the former head of Tokyo's Olympic organising committee, it said.

On Friday, a government spokesman said nothing had been decided on whether the country was planning to send officials to attend the event.

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