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Tokyo Olympic, Paralympic Games Ban Overseas Spectators

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Games postponed from last year are set to start on July 23

The official website for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 event revealed on Saturday that the event will ban overseas spectators from attending.

The five governing bodies of the event met virtually on Saturday, and three Japanese bodies involved informed the rest of the committee that Japan will not allow spectators to attend the event. The statement cited the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic including new variant strains, and international travel being highly restricted right now as the reason for the decision.

Nearly all entry into Japan from non-citizens and non-residents is currently restricted.

The statement added that the Olympics staff will inform those people overseas who hold tickets soon about refunds.

In January, Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai denied a news report that the Japanese government had "privately concluded" that it could no longer hold the Tokyo Olympics in its planned opening this year, and was now aiming to win the bid for the 2032 Games.

The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled for July 24 to August 9, 2020, followed by the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6. They were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and rescheduled to July 23 to August 8, 2021 and August 24 to September 5, 2021, respectively. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo Games organizing committee, and Tokyo Metropolitan and Japanese governments agreed to the schedule.

Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee President Yoshirō Mori previously stated that the Tokyo Olympics will be "scrapped" if it cannot be held in 2021.

A poll from the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper and the Social Survey Research Center on March 13 found that only 9% of people in Japan said the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics should be held as scheduled, while 32% said they should be canceled altogether.

Thanks to Matt Norcross for the news tip.

Source: Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020's website

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