Japan's PM declines to comment on S.Korean president's decision to stay away from Olympics

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Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a news conference at the prime minister's official residence, as the government declares a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) state of emergency in Tokyo almost two weeks before the start of the Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan July 8, 2021. Nicolas Datiche/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

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TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday he was not in a position to comment on South Korean President Moon Jae-in's decision not to visit Japan for the Olympics.

The president's decision came after South Korea lodged a protest over a news report on Friday that a senior diplomat at Japan's embassy in Seoul had said Moon was "masturbating" when describing his efforts to improve bilateral relations.

Speaking to reporters, Suga described the diplomat's remark as "inappropriate".

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Reporting by Takashi Umekawa Editing by Gareth Jones

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