TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - In protest of Beijing not allowing a reporter from Japanese newspaper the Sankei Shimbun to participate in a pool interview of a China-Japan diplomatic meeting, Japanese news reporters decided to call off their attendance to the meeting.
The Chinese government has accused the Sankei Shimbun of making unfavorable news reports covering China.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba visited China this week and was scheduled to meet officials in Beijing on Wednesday.
The Japan News reported that the Japanese Embassy in China, which serves as a facilitator for such meetings, requested the press club to adjust the number of reporters attending, so lots were drawn and the Sankei Shimbun reporter was on the list.
However, the embassy was told by the Chinese Foreign Ministry that the participation of a Sankei Shimbun reporter was not allowed "based on their policy," though no further information was given about what policy.
The press club for Japanese reporters stationed in Beijing then decided to withdraw from the the meeting.
Fumihiko Iguchi, executive officer of the Sankei Shimbun, described the incident in a statement as "an unfair obstruction of legitimate news gathering activities," and expressed regret for the unfortunate situation.