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Tokyo Games to be held without fans from abroad


The organizing committee for the Tokyo Games and the central and metropolitan governments have agreed that fans from abroad will not be allowed to enter Japan for the Olympics and Paralympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The organizing committee and the central and metropolitan governments will hold a meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and make a formal announcement by the start of the torch relay on March 25.

“It’s very difficult to predict what the situation will be like in the future, so a cautious decision is needed,” Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said to IOC President Thomas Bach and IPC President Andrew Parsons at a meeting on March 3. According to Games officials, the IOC and IPC indicated they would respect Japan’s decision.

About 900,000 tickets have already been sold overseas. Without fans from abroad, the organizing committee expects ticket revenue to decrease by about ¥90 billion. It will also make it difficult for people from around the world to deepen their interactions with each other. The refund procedure is also expected to involve large costs.

However, coronavirus variants are spreading around the world. If a large number of foreigners enter the country, there is a risk of variants becoming prevalent in Japan.

The government has decided not to host fans from abroad to dispel the public’s concerns, even though the number of coronavirus cases in Japan has decreased compared to January, when a state of emergency was issued.

The organizing committee will make a decision by the end of April on whether to set a limit on the number of domestic spectators at competition venues, using professional baseball and other sports as a reference.

Published : March 11, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN