China-Japan issue worsens

China-Japan issue worsens

China has withdrawn its badminton players from this week's Japan Open and a Japanese cycling team has been kicked out of a race in China amid a worsening political crisis over disputed islands.

Yoshio Sekine, vice-chairman of the Japan Badminton Association, confirmed on Tuesday that the players from China had pulled out of the tournament.

"Chinese athletes cancelled their appearance in this tournament, which is unfortunate," he said at a Japan Open news conference, without discussing the motives for their withdrawal.
Another official at the event said that while he had not heard any specific reason for their absence "some sort of political reason could be suspected". 

A UCI official told Reuters that Japanese team Aisan had been kicked out of the Tour of China and that there were fears a similar move could be made at the October 9-13 Tour of Beijing.

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