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Almost 78,000 foreign stakeholders to attend Tokyo Olympics  

The Saturday editions of all national dailies reported on the disclosure by President Hashimoto of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee on Friday that some 78,000 foreign “stakeholders,” including thousands of audiovisual support staff and 8,000 journalists, will visit Japan this summer for the two sporting events. She explained to the press that the figure represents an almost 55% reduction from the initial estimate. She added that as many as 230 doctors and 310 nurses will be required per day to ensure the health of the athletes and other participants, and up to 60,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests will be conducted per day for the duration of the Games. Sunday’s Sankei said the GOJ plans to mobilize some 20 SDF doctors for the Olympics to prevent the event from potentially having adverse effects on the healthcare system.     


Nikkei said anti-virus measures for foreign non-athletes will probably be less stringent than for athletes, saying they will need to be tested only every four to seven days while athletes will be tested every day. Asahi wrote that foreign journalists and other support staff will be allowed to go out after quarantining for 14 days, saying that some local officials and businesses are concerned that they will roam freely around their neighborhoods. Yomiuri noted that as it will be very difficult to control the activities of these foreign visitors especially at offsite locations, the GOJ plans to ask them to sign a statement acknowledging that they will face deportation if they fail to abide by infection prevention protocols. 


In a related story, Monday’s Sankei highlighted an estimate by a group of University of Tokyo researchers of the foreign participants’ impact on the COVID-19 infection situation in Japan. They reportedly projected that if 50% of the some 100,000 athletes, reporters, and other support staff are vaccinated ahead of their arrival, their entry will lead to an increase of only 15 additional cases per day in Tokyo. As such, the academics conjectured that reducing the mobility of potential domestic spectators would be more important than controlling the activities of foreign visitors. 

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