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Olympics President Calls Japanese People Chinese During Speech

Photo by Olaf Kosinsky via Wikimedia Commons

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach referred to Japanese people as Chinese in a speech on Tuesday, The Guardian reports. The mistake was a part of his first public comments since arriving in Tokyo for the games.

The public speech took place at the headquarters of the Tokyo Olympics. Bach addressed concerns that the games might become a COVID-19 “superspreader” event.

“Our common target is safe and secure Games,” Bach said, according to NBC News. “For everybody – for the athletes, for all the delegations, and most importantly also for the Chinese people … Japanese people.”

Interpreters did not translate the mistake, according to NBC News, but Japanese publications did report the incident.

So far, Bach and the IOC have not responded to requests for comment.

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