Sankei asserted in its lead story that Emperor Naruhito probably will not be accompanied by Empress Masako when he attends the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on July 23 as an “honorary patron” because the organizing committee is aiming to reduce the number of participants to the bare minimum through such measures as prohibiting spouses from attending. The Emperor is due to declare the Olympics open at the ceremony. Neither the Emperor nor the Empress are likely to visit any of the event venues on account of a ban on domestic spectators. The imperial couple is expected to host foreign dignitaries for brief greetings on July 22.
The daily claimed in a separate article that the organizing committee has successfully reduced the number of IOC officials, foreign dignitaries, and other stakeholders who will be allowed to attend the opening ceremony from the initial 10,000 to several hundred. Some of the projected participants, including corporate sponsors, reportedly volunteered not to attend the event following the decision not to allow domestic spectators.