Japan`s athletes handed behaviour brief for China trip

Tokyo: Japanese athletes taking part in next month`s Asian Games in Guangzhou have been ordered to be on their best behaviour so as not to upset their Chinese hosts.

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has printed manuals for its athletes with a list of do`s and don`ts during the Nov. 12-27 regional event.

Sino-Japanese relations deteriorated sharply last month after Japan detained a Chinese trawler captain near a chain of disputed islands in the East China Sea.

"The manuals are just a set of guidelines for Japan`s delegation," the JOC told Reuters on Friday. "They outline basic advice on how to act from the Foreign Ministry."

Athletes have been ordered to keep politics out of their personal blogs following the heightened recent tensions between Japan and China.

Thousands of protesters marched in both countries earlier this month, highlighting fragile ties, strained by bitter Chinese memories of Japan`s wartime aggression and Japanese concerns about China`s growing economic might.

However, Japanese athletes will be asked not to mention any anti-Japanese protests they may witness in Guangzhou, according to local media reports.

Japan`s coaches were briefed on Thursday by a Foreign Ministry official over correct protocol during the Asian Games.

"Basically apart from at the Games village, venues and official areas it`s best for the athletes not to walk outside," Japan`s head coach Mitsuo Tsukahara said.

"It`s likely to be more hostile than at the Beijing Olympics."

Bureau Report