South Korean President, Moon Jae-In, has decided to skip the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after a Japanese official made a masturbating comment while talking about him. The president was scheduled to meet with the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, to discuss the relationship between the two countries. It would have been the president’s first summit with the prime minister.

Senior Japanese diplomat, Hirohisa Soma, made the comment to a South Korean cable news reporter while he was in the embassy in Seoul, and it has put a strain on the already tense relationship between Japan and South Korea.

South Korean President, Moon Jae-In will not attend the Tokyo Olympics because of a masturbating comment made by a Japanese official. (Instagram: president_moon)

In response to President Moon Jae-In’s effort to try and improve relations, Soma said that “President Moon is masturbating himself. Japan does not have the time to care so much about the relationship between the two countries as South Korea thinks.”

While the South Korean government has canceled President Moon In’s trip to Japan, they haven’t implied that the cancelation was caused by the comment. In a statement made by the president’s press secretary, Park Soo-Hyun said that “the discussions were held amicably and made considerable progress, but it still fell short of being considered as a summit result, and we took other circumstances into account.” In his place, the president will be sending Hwang Hee, the sports and culture minister, to represent South Korea during the Tokyo Olympics.

The tough relationship between the two countries is because of heated debates about whether or not Japan should give compensation to Korea for its early 20th-century colonial rule over the peninsula. Between 1910 to 1945, Koreans were forced to work in Japanese brothels and firms.

In recent years, evidence has come forward about the horrible conditions that women in these brothels had to face during their time under Japanese rule. These women were called comfort women and they were compelled to go into prostitution by the Japanese army. Many women didn’t survive, and their situation wasn’t acknowledged by the Japanese government until 1993.

Japanese and South Korean tensions were further strained a couple of months ago when a map on the Tokyo Olympic website showed a handful of Korean islands as being Japanese territories. Prime Minister Suma has said that he believes it is the place of South Korea to start the conversation about mending relationships.

Prime Minister Suma has called the comment inappropriate and his office has said that Japanese official regrets his actions

Suma has criticized Soma’s behavior, and has called the masturbating comment “inappropriate.” Some believe Soma could be removed from his role as a Japanese diplomat, but nothing has been confirmed.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start this Friday and events will be running until August 8. President Moon had also hoped that his attendance at the Olympics could help South and North Korea mend their tough relationship, but North Korea has already pulled their athletes from the Olympics over a fear of Covid-19.