Japan Olympian Not ‘Allowed’ To Marry Taiwanese Olympian Boyfriend

(This article is courtesy of WEIBO of China) (DO STATE OLYMPIC COMMITTEES NOW “OWN” THE ATHLETES?)

Japanese Table Tennis Star Not Allowed to Marry Taiwanese Boyfriend China Celebs, Weiblog, What’s on Weibo August 26, 2016 August 26, 2016 A Japanese women’s magazine recently reported that the Japan’s Table Tennis Association is thwarting the marriage of table tennis star Ai Fukuhara to Taiwanese fellow Olympian Chiang Hung-Chieh. On Weibo, some netizens understand why. Japanese women’s magazine Josei Jishin (女性自身) recently revealed that the Japan Table Tennis Association is preventing the 28-year-old table tennis star Ai Fukuhara (福原爱) from marrying her boyfriend Chiang Hung-Chieh (江宏杰), a table tennis player and fellow Rio Olympian from Taiwan. Fukuhara and Chiang have been in a stable relationship, and it has been rumored that the two have been planning to get married after the Rio Olympics. According to the magazine, the Japan Table Tennis Association has high hopes for Fukuhara for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and wants the table tennis athlete to fully concentrate on her training. The revelation became a trending topic on Sina Weibo, where Fukuhara is a much-loved sport woman. Her Weibo account (@福原愛AiFukuhara) has over 2.1 million fans. The post about Fukuhara was shared by Global Times, writing that the Japanese Table Tennis Association also stated that a marriage between Fukuhara and Chiang Hung-Chieh was deemed undesirable because Chiang plays in a lower level than Fukuhara and makes less money, making it an “unequal marriage”. The Weibo post about Fukuhara was shared over 2000 times and received 5800 comments on August 25. It was also shared by numerous other media outlets, such as Sina News, and individual Weibo users. “If their reasoning is like this,” one netizen commented: “then surely she has no other option than marrying a man from mainland China?” China is the number one gold-scoring table tennis country. “If they only want her to marry the world’s best, then she should just marry a mainlander,” other netizens also say. Four-time Olympian Fukuhara is very popular in China, not just because of table tennis stars, but also because she speaks fluent Chinese and because of her pretty appearance, that earned her the “Japanese doll” nickname. “Marriage should be in one’s own hands, the table tennis association should not meddle in her affairs!” other Weibo users write. “I understand it,” one female netizen writes: “I also don’t agree with Liu Yifei marrying a Korean!” Liu Yifen is a Chinese actress known for her beautiful appearance. Her partner is the Korean actor Song Seung Heon. Many Chinese netizens think the association is against Fukuhara marrying her Taiwanese boyfriend because “Japan looks down upon Taiwanese people”. For many netizens, news about Ai’s thwarted marriage was welcomed with open arms – many hope the athlete will eventually marry a man from mainland China. “China’s table tennis world has the right man for you!”, one netizen writes. – By Manya Koetse

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