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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan's Remarks on the Alleged Unfriendly Behavior of Some Chinese Soccer Fans against the Japanese Team

Q: It is reported that during the matches of the Asian Cup, some Chinese soccer fans took unfriendly behavior against the Japanese team. What comment does China have on this?

A: The Asian Cup 2004 is a major international sport event sponsored by China. We are very pleased to see that China and Japan have come all the way to the final with remarkable performances and expect the Chinese and Japanese fans to watch a wonderful match on August 7th with appropriate courtesy.

Regarding the unfriendly behavior you talked about, the facts we have gathered tell us that the four matches involving the Japanese team were on the whole conducted in an orderly and lively atmosphere. As is known to all, overreactions of a handful of fans crop up from time to time in major international soccer events, which we do not stand for since they run counter to the sportsmanship. Meanwhile, it has to be pointed out that some Japanese media exaggerated and made an issue of the acts of a few people, and even linked them with politics. We express our regret over this.

China and Japan share a time-honored history of friendly exchanges. We believe that to strengthen the extensive exchanges, including those in sport, will help to promote the understanding and friendship between the people of our two countries.

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