Some Japanese government officials said it was decided at the time to rule out that foreign spectators will not be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The government and the Japanese committee organizing the games are expected to hold a remote meeting with the International Olympic Committee and two other bodies, possibly next week, to make a formal decision on the overseas visitor issue.
The government has concluded that welcoming fans from abroad is not possible given Japanese public concerns about the coronavirus and the fact that more contagious variants have been detected in many countries, according to officials, who have spoken a condition of anonymity.
In principle, Japan continues to block new entries of foreign citizens as the government has found that it will take longer than expected to stem the number of infections that peaked at over 2,500 cases per day in Japan at the beginning of January.
With the decision, the government will also have to review its economic growth strategy, it will lack all the expenditure planned by tourists/spectators ready to visit Japan, especially during the Olympic Games.
On March 3, representatives of the five organizing bodies, which also include the International Paralympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, agreed to make a decision on foreign spectators by the end of this month.
In April it will be decided how many spectators, surely all Japanese will be able to wait in the various areas where the games will be held.
The postponement of the games cost the Japanese government $ 15 billion. It was expected to cash in a lot from ticket sales.
Now the main problem will be reimbursement to foreign spectators who had purchased tickets in advance. Another problem is the guests of the sponsors of the games who have not been able to organize a real trip to date due to the problems created by the pandemic.
“We would really like people from all over the world to come to a full stage, but unless we are ready to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it will cause a lot of problems for visitors from abroad too,” Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the committee. Japanese, told reporters.
Whatever happens, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be a very tough challenge for athletes, sponsors, organizers, spectators, and above all for the Japanese who will have to live with TOKYO2020 for 1 month.
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