2021 Olympics: Macron in Japan to open the Tokyo Games

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Emmanuel Macron is expected in Tokyo on Friday for a 36-hour visit during which he will attend the opening of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and meet Japanese leaders, business leaders and representatives of the cultural world, announced Tuesday the ‘Elysium.

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Emmanuel Macron will be the only G7 leader to attend the opening ceremony of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday as president of the host country for the next edition, scheduled for 2024. “I am going to Japan for the support and the relay” , explained Emmanuel Macron last Thursday on France 2 on the sidelines of the Tour de France. “To support Olympism” in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, “the Japanese organization and French athletes” with the hope that “they will bring back as many medals as possible,” he detailed.

From the end of these Olympics, “the countdown” will be launched “to organize in the best conditions” the 2024 Olympics, he added, while Prime Minister Jean Castex could attend the closing ceremony August 8. Accompanied by a delegation reduced to a minimum, with the presence of a single minister, that of National Education, Youth and Sports Jean-Michel Blanquer, Emmanuel Macron planned to meet with the president of the International Committee Olympic (IOC) Thomas Bach, and the French officials of the organizing committee for the 2024 Olympic Games, but also to attend judo and 3×3 women’s basketball, a new Olympic discipline.

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Direction French Polynesia after Japan

On the sidelines of the Olympics, the Head of State will attend a ceremony in the presence of Emperor Naruhito and will meet with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday, two years after his first visit to Japan in June 2019. They will discuss the situation in the Indo-Pacific zone, facing increasing maritime and military pressure from China, and economic attractiveness, while a meeting is scheduled with heads of commercial companies and new technologies.

Emmanuel Macron also intends to discuss the sensitive issue of conflicts between Japanese and French parents for child custody, illustrated by the hunger strike in Tokyo since July 10 by Vincent Fichot, a Frenchman living in Japan who has been unable to see his children since. their abduction by their Japanese mother in 2018. “These are tragic situations” in which “the French state stands alongside its fellow citizens in distress” and “seeks solutions with the Japanese authorities in the best interests of the children” , explains the Elysee.

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But “it is not for France to decide on social standards by Japan” even if “we encourage it” to launch a debate on this situation which affects nearly 100,000 people, adds the presidency, without indicating whether Emmanuel Macron will meet Vincent Fichot as he had done in 2019. The Head of State will also meet with representatives of the cultural world (manga, video games, cinema, literature) to discuss “common projects” while Japanese and French people share “a reciprocal fascination” for their culture. Emmanuel Macron will leave Tokyo on Saturday evening to make his first visit to French Polynesia.

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Mathieu Idiart with AFP Journalist RMC Sport

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