TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is likely to shelve plans to send officials to the Winter Games in Beijing next year and will make an announcement as early as Friday, public broadcaster NHK said.
The United States and other Western countries have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Games over concerns about human rights in China but Japan has so far taken a softer tone.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said this month he does not plan to attend the Games, which are due to start in February.
The issue illustrates Tokyo’s delicate position as a close ally of the United States that is also heavily reliant on China for trade and as a manufacturing base.
Kishida has faced rising pressure within his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to take a tougher stance on China, NHK said.
(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Chris Reese and Ken Ferris)