China lets Japanese runners participate in Beijing marathon

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 06:20 hrs

Japanese runners were allowed to participate in the annual Beijing Marathon on Sunday.

Chinese organizers had earlier threatened to prevent them from registering for the race because of the Senkaku islands dispute.

About 30,000 runners participated in the race, which began in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing and wound through Olympic park in the northern part of the capital.

According to the Japan Times, the Japanese runners were relieved by the organizers' 'change of heart'.

"At one point, I thought we would not be able to join the race. But I was pleased that China changed its stance," Keiko Takanashi, 51, who now resides in Beijing, said.

Earlier, the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Marathon had removed "Japan" from the list of eligible nationalities on its Web-based application form, prompting the Japanese Embassy in Beijing to lodge a protest, the report added. (ANI)

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