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Senior GOJ officials comment on U.S. travel advisory for Japan

All networks reported at noon that the State Department has raised its travel advisory for Japan to the highest level on its four-tier scale—“Level 4: Do Not Travel”—due to the COVID-19 situation there. The networks also reported that the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said in a statement released on Monday that it feels confident that the current mitigation practices in place for athletes and staff by both the USOPC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee will allow for safe participation of Team USA athletes this summer.

 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato told the press this morning: “Although the United States advises people to refrain from traveling to Japan, it has not banned necessary travel. As of now, the United States has not restricted the entry of Japanese people, and we understand that there is no concrete plan in place to introduce such a measure. We are in close communication with the U.S. government and will continue to respond appropriately, including collecting information.” When asked whether the U.S. measure will affect the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Kato reportedly said: “We think that the U.S. position is to support the GOJ’s commitment to holding the Games. We have been told by the United States that the latest decision is not linked to the dispatch of U.S. delegations. We are aware that the USOPC released a statement saying the measure will not affect the participation of U.S. athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.”

 

Olympics Minister Marukawa also reportedly told the press this morning: “The measure by the U.S. State Department advises people to refrain from traveling to Japan, but I understand that it does not ban necessary travel.” She went on to say: “I don’t see any impact on the Tokyo Games at the moment since the USOPC released a statement saying that the measure will not affect the participation of U.S. athletes.”

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