The Japanese government will send a senior vice minister the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi, Chief Cabinet Secretary announced on Thursday, despite high tensions over Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.
According to the top government spokesman, Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshitaka Sakurada will attend the ceremony due Friday as Japan's official representative. The announcement came after the US, Britain and Canada canceled their plan to send government representatives to Sochi in protest at the Russian intervention in Ukraine's Crimean region.
"We are aware of various movements in the international community. But Japan's position is to be cautious about bringing political conditions into the Paralympic movement," Suga told a news conference.
At a parliament committee on Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tokyo will make a decision to send an official representative to the Paralympics by carefully assessing the situation within the international community.
The Paralympic Games will run through March 16.