Olympic Games in Tokyo Set to Take Place Without Overseas Spectators

tokyo 2021 - Olympic Games - Olympics

Olympic Games in Tokyo Set to Take Place Without Overseas Spectators

The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo are to go ahead without overseas spectators, according to reports by Kyodo News agency.

The Olympics are scheduled to open on 23 July with the Paralympics set to follow from 24 August, a year after Tokyo 2020 was slated to take place but was instead pushed back a year because of the pandemic.

Now it appears that overseas fans will not be able to travel to watch the Games which would also seemingly rule out athletes’ families.

Kyodo says that the Japanese government and the organising committee are expected to hold a meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later this month to make a formal decision over the absence of overseas visitors.

They state that the “government has concluded that welcoming fans from abroad is not possible given concerns among the Japanese public over the coronavirus and the fact that more contagious variants have been detected in many countries, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”

On March 3, the representatives of the five organising bodies, which also include the International Paralympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo metropolitan government, agreed to make a decision on overseas spectators by the end of this month.

They will then make a call in April on the number of spectators to be allowed into venues.

The opening ceremony of the torch relay will be held without spectators as well to prevent the spread of the virus, officials with knowledge of the planning also said Tuesday.

The organising committee says it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic, the officials said.

After the ceremony at the J-Village soccer training center, about 10,000 runners will carry the flame through Japan’s 47 prefectures before the opening of the Olympics.

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