The Strategist

Kyodo: Foreign fans will not be allowed to Tokyo Olympics

03/10/2021 - 02:46

Japan has decided to hold this year's Tokyo Olympics without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kyodo news agency reported, citing knowledgeable sources. The ceremony where the Olympic torch relay will be launched in Japan will also be held without spectators on March 25.

According to the agency, the country's authorities had concluded that with the spread of the coronavirus it was not worth inviting representatives of other nations. The discovery of new strains of the virus has also influenced the decision. 

Next week the decision to hold the Olympics without foreign fans will be approved at a joint meeting of the Japanese government, Tokyo authorities, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee, sources said.

The issue of allowing foreign spectators should be finalised by the end of March. Also, in April, authorities will announce how many fans will be admitted to stadiums.

According to polls conducted at the end of last year and beginning of this year, almost 80% of Japanese would like either another postponement or cancellation of the Olympics. That said, IOC President Thomas Bach noted it was not possible to move the Olympics again. 

The Tokyo Olympics were to be held from 24 July to 9 August 2020. Due to the pandemic, it was tentatively postponed until 23 July to 8 August 2021.


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