Dispute Could Impact Tokyo's Bid For the 2020 Summer Games
Agence France-Presse reports a territorial dispute between China and Japan could have an impact on Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The Japanese government purchased three islands this month that it administers but which are claimed as the Diaoyu by China and Taiwan, sparking mass demonstrations in mainland cities.
Competitors from Japan are reportedly staying away from table tennis, cycling, rugby sevens and ice hockey events hosted by China, and Chinese badminton players and archers have opted out of Tokyo-based events because of fears for their safety.
There are fears in Japan that China may use its influence in Asia and Africa to influence Tokyo's bid against its competitors - Madrid and Istanbul - when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes for the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games next September.
Isao Ito, a former Japan Sports Association official and commentator on Olympic affairs said, "IOC members from China are inclined to fully follow the government's policy and they may have influence on Tokyo's Olympic bid. It will spell trouble if Japan doesn't embrace China because they have great influence on other Asian and African countries".
Meanwhile Tokyo 2020 is reportedly neutral on the situation. Tokyo's Governor Shintaro Ishihara said when asked recently if he was worried that the island issue would impact the IOC vote, "I don't much", adding he was certain there would be no help from Taiwan's IOC member Wu Ching-kuo, who has already said the islands dispute could harm Tokyo's bid.
Ishihara said, "he is clearly anti-Japanese. I think he will never vote for Japan".
The Japan Times reported Friday that Wu sent an e-mail to Japanese Olympic Committee President and IOC member Tsunekazu saying he was "more than 100 per cent neutral and will encourage you continuously to pursue your excellent preparations for the bid", adding he would make his "final decision truly based on the values of your bid".Write or read comments about this article
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