Japan apology after players who 'paid for sex' are sent home

Japan's chef de mission Yasuhiro Yamashita

Four Japanese basketball players have been sent home from the Asian Games for allegedly paying women for sex.

The players went out for dinner in Jakarta wearing their team uniforms and were solicited by touts to go to a hotel with women, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

The Asian Games opened in the Indonesian capital on Saturday and run until 2 September.

“I feel a sense of shame,” Japan’s chef de mission Yasuhiro Yamashita said.

“We deeply apologise and intend to give the athletes thorough guidance from now on.”

The basketball competition began before Saturday’s opening ceremony, and the alleged incident happened following victory over Qatar on Thursday, Yamashita told a news conference.

He said the four players met a Japanese-speaking local, who told them about a bar where they could meet women.

They spent a couple of hours at the bar before checking into a hotel with four women and staying there until Friday morning, he added.

Officials named the players as Takuya Hashimoto, Keita Imamura, Yuya Nagayoshi and Takuma Sato.

“The players flew back home at their own expense,” Yamashita said, adding that the remaining eight squad members would continue in the competition.

“The athletes should be role models of society, not only in the sporting venues but also on other occasions,” said the chef de mission.

Organisers say about 18,000 athletes and officials are visiting Jakarta and co-host city Palembang for the Asian Games, a regional competition featuring 40 events.

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BBC Sport – Sport

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