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IOC supports Japan’s decision not to host overseas spectators

The Sunday editions of all national dailies reported on a videoconference on Saturday between the GOJ, the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Paralympic Committee, during which they agreed that no overseas spectators will be allowed to attend the Summer Games to make the event safe and secure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Japan will not be able to deliver on former Prime Minister Abe’s pledge to hold the Tokyo Games in their “complete form.” Asahi said the Summer Games will not embody the spirit of the modern Olympics in the absence of overseas spectators since the spirit calls for the creation of a peaceful society through deepening mutual understanding among people assembled from all over the world.


While Japan was hoping to capitalize on the Olympics to boost inbound tourism, the Summer Games’ impact on the domestic economy will now be significantly limited. Mainichi speculated that the GOJ gave up on prioritizing the economic benefits of the Olympics to stem the growing domestic clamor for cancellation of the Games amid the rapid spread of new strains of the coronavirus across the globe. The papers added that the five organizations will decide what to do about domestic spectators in April while taking into account the coronavirus situation at home and abroad.


In a related story, Saturday’s Asahi said the organizing committee also decided not to host any international volunteers other than those who can communicate in rare languages.


Meanwhile, Saturday’s Sankei claimed that the GOJ has concluded that as many as 90,000 people will be able to enter Japan from abroad for the Tokyo Olympics, including athletes, umpires, journalists, and other officials. They will be exempted from the two-week quarantine requirement on the condition that they limit their activities and not use public transportation. The GOJ has reportedly developed an app-based mechanism to monitor the visitors’ health condition while in Japan.

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