Emperor Akihito and other members of the imperial family are unlikely to attend the Beijing Olympics amid concerns here about China's crackdown in Tibet and other issues, a report said Wednesday. The government thinks it is not a good time for a rare royal visit because of the unrest in Tibet, a recent health scare over Chinese-made "gyoza" dumplings and a spat over disputed gas fields, the Sankei daily said.
"We were planning not to ask royals to go even before the gyoza incident surfaced in January. It is all the more true now that the Tibetan unrest occurred," it quoted an unnamed government official as saying.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao invited Emperor Akihito and other royals to the opening ceremony of the August Olympics when he visited Japan last year.
The emperor told Wen then that the government decides on the royal family's foreign trips, a palace spokesman said.
The foreign ministry said no formal decision had been made. "Nothing has been decided regarding the attendance of dignitaries," a ministry official said.
The last trip to China by members of Japan's imperial household was a landmark visit by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in 1992.© AFP