KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Malaysia remains welcome to join the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in Japan, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican confirmed today.
Reezal Merican also affirmed denials from the Olympic games organiser of a news report purporting that Malaysia would be among 10 countries allegedly to be blocked from joining the games next month.
In confirming that Malaysia could still join the games, Reezal Merican said he had personally received confirmation from Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Oka Hiroshi, as well Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry.
The minister said this confirmation follows the statement by Tokyo 2020 organising committee CEO Toshiro Muto and the Olympic Council of Malaysia’s president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria who denied a news report that 10 countries including Malaysia would be blocked from joining the games.
“On behalf of the government, I wish to record my thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Oka Hiroshi, Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia, who is always providing the latest updates and also helping in confirming that Malaysia is always welcome to join the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics that will be carried out soon,” Reezal Merican said in a statement today.
Reezal Merican said Malaysia’s athletes are currently undergoing preparatory training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, adding that he was thankful that all of the country’s athletes are in their best condition to take on the challenge of representing the nation in the Tokyo 2020 games to start on July 23.
Separately, the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia today issued a press statement to clarify that Malaysia would be welcome at the games.
“Japan welcomes Malaysian athletes to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
“The Government of Japan has never requested the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to deny entry of athletes from countries including Malaysia, where new variants cases were found, unlike a media report,” it said in the brief statement.
“Necessary preparations are underway including putting in place full measures to prevent infection to ensure that Tokyo Olympics approaching next month are held in a safe and secure manner.
“Japan sincerely hopes that the athletes from Malaysia, a long-time friend country of Japan, will achieve great results in the Tokyo Games,” the embassy concluded.
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