All national dailies wrote that Yasuhiko Nishimura, the head of the Imperial Household Agency, told reporters at a regular press briefing on Thursday that Emperor Naruhito is very worried about the current infection situation of COVID-19, adding that he supposes the Emperor is concerned that holding the Olympics and Paralympics could lead to a rise in infections. Grand Steward Nishimura also added that he has not heard such words directly from the Emperor but his conversations with the Emperor have made him feel that way. “I would like the organizing committee and other related organizations to work together and take all possible measures to prevent infection,” Nishimura said. The Emperor may attend the Olympic opening ceremony and declare the start of the Games as Honorary Patron of the Olympics and Paralympics.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato played down Nishimura’s remarks by telling reports that they represented the view of the grand steward and that the GOJ will move forward with preparations to hold safe and secure games.