December 24, Friday, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Japan will not send a government delegation to the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. The decision comes amid international calls for a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights record. Japan is still dispatching local Olympic officials to the games, which kicks off February 4. Tokyo 2020 President Hashimoto Seiko and presidents of Japan’s Olympic and Paralympic Committees will attend. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said on Friday that his government won’t label the move with words like “boycott.” He said Japan made the decision on its own.
2. India said its senior diplomat visited Myanmar on Wednesday and Thursday, and met with the country’s military chief. India’s Ministry of External Affairs said Foreign Secretary Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing. The ministry’s statement said the foreign secretary emphasized India’s “interest in seeing Myanmar’s return to democracy at the earliest,” and “complete cessation of all violence.”
3. Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that diplomats from his country and the United States will likely hold a high-level meeting in Geneva early next year to discuss the situation over Ukraine. As tensions rise over Russia’s massive troop buildup along its border with Ukraine, Putin aired strong concerns about efforts by the US and NATO to boost their ties with that country.