China on Thursday urged Japan to support the Beijing Olympics, as the United States and other democratic countries are weighing up whether to implement a "diplomatic boycott" of the Winter Games.
"China fully supported Japan in hosting the Tokyo Olympics" this summer, so "Japan should have basic faith," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden acknowledged that he is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics slated for next February, suggesting that no U.S. government representatives will attend the global sporting event.
The boycott, which would not affect the participation of U.S. athletes, is seen as a response to China's alleged human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in its far-western Xinjiang region that Washington has labeled as "genocide."
On Thursday, the Sydney Morning Herald also reported Australia is mulling a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games amid concerns for the welfare of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who claimed she had an extramarital affair with a former vice premier.
China "firmly opposes" Japan's politicizing sports, Zhao said, adding the two Asian nations should have "important consensus on mutual support for each other's hosting" of the Olympics.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, who previously headed a cross-party lawmakers' group that promotes Japan-China ties, said Wednesday that nothing has been decided at this point on a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
But some politicians of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party have asked the government under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to deliberate a diplomatic boycott, as Tokyo and Beijing remain at odds over territorial and human rights issues.