All national dailies reported on the decision made on Thursday at a five-party meeting between the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the GOJ, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Paralympic Committee to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games without spectators at all venues in Tokyo. The organizers later decided that events in the three surrounding prefectures of Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa will also be held without spectators. Spectators at Olympic venues in Miyagi, Fukushima, and Shizuoka prefectures will be capped at 10,000, or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is smaller. A decision on whether to allow spectators at Paralympics events will be made immediately after the closing of the Olympics on Aug. 8.
The papers wrote that the organizers gave up on their earlier plan to hold the Games with a limited number of spectators and decided not to allow spectators at venues in Tokyo just two weeks ahead of the opening of the Olympics on July 23 following the government’s decision to place Tokyo under a state of emergency until Aug. 22 due to a recent resurgence of coronavirus infections in the metropolitan area. Yomiuri, Mainichi, and Sankei speculated that the government accepted the idea of no spectators in response to strong public concern about the spread of the coronavirus.
Yomiuri wrote that foreign media outlets reported on the decision to hold the Olympics without spectators, with Bloomberg saying that the decision will deal a blow to the Games, which have been publicized as an event to declare victory over the coronavirus. CNN reported that the ban on spectators is likely to be a big disappointment not only for Japanese fans but also for athletes.