Japan “believes that respect for human rights is important,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a news conference. “We made a decision comprehensively.”
Tokyo Olympics Chief Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, and Japan Paralympic Chief Kazuyuki Mori will still attend the event, Matsuno added.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said earlier this month he does not plan to attend the Games. Kishida has faced rising pressure within his ruling party to take a tougher stance on China, according to local media — a delicate issue for Japan, which is a close partner of the United States but also has strong economic ties to its Asian neighbor.
The Beijing Games have been shrouded in controversy for months, with activists and critics calling for boycotts over concerns of human rights abuses in China — particularly against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs in the western region of Xinjiang.