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Foreign spectators not likely to be allowed to attend Tokyo Olympics 

Mainichi front-paged the disclosure by multiple GOJ sources that coordination is underway within the Suga administration not to allow foreign spectators at the Tokyo Olympics this summer in view of the COVID-19 situation, including the rapid spread of new strains in some parts of the world. “It would be impossible to accommodate spectators from abroad under the current circumstances,” a GOJ source was quoted as saying. The daily projected that the International Olympic Committee is likely to endorse the plan to hold the Tokyo Games without foreign spectators based on the judgment that a failure in Tokyo would have adverse effects on the Beijing Winter Games next year and the Paris Olympics in 2024. The paper added that the GOJ will decide how to handle domestic spectators in April.   

 

Other papers ran similar reports, speculating that the GOJ is inclined not to allow foreign spectators to alleviate public anxiety about the Games becoming a “superspreader” event. The Suga administration was reportedly afraid that public opposition to the Olympics would grow further if it decided to allow foreign spectators amid uncertainty over when the pandemic will be brought under control at home and abroad.  

 

In a related development, all papers took up a videoconference held yesterday between Minister for Tokyo Olympics Marukawa, Tokyo Governor Koike, Tokyo Olympics organizing committee President Hashimoto, IOC President Bach, and International Paralympics Committee President Parsons. They reportedly agreed that a decision on foreign spectators should be made by the end of this month. Marukawa reportedly disclosed afterward that no participants raised objections to her view that “a careful judgment is warranted” on the question of foreign spectators in view of  the uncertainty about the coronavirus situation.  

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