The Japanese government believes it will be difficult to allow overseas viewers to attend the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, but stressed that it has not yet made a decision. A position that is consistent with what the Japanese press had already reported.
At a press conference, the Japanese government spokesman stated that the executive branch’s job is “to keep the Japanese people safe,” with the fact that foreign visitors to the games are complicated to enter due to the risk of the spread of new strains of the new coronavirus ( SARS-CoV-2).
Katsunobu Kato had been asked about news released by local media in the past few days, indicating that the government had already decided to exclude foreign viewers from the Olympics.
The organizing committee, meanwhile, said in a statement that the decision on overseas viewers “will be made by the end of the month and will be based on factors such as the state of infection in Japan and other countries, possible measures to prevent pandemics and medical advice from experts”.
The government and the Olympic Games Organizing Committee are expected to hold a meeting with the International Olympic Committee and two other bodies next week to make a formal decision on the issue of foreign visitors, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.
According to unidentified sources cited by Kyodo, the government concluded that due to Japanese public concerns over the new coronavirus and the discovery of more contagious variants of Covid-19 in other countries, it is not possible to welcome foreign fans be called.
In addition, Japan has generally banned all foreign travelers without a residence visa from entering the country since the end of December. This decision remains in effect until further notice.
The exclusion of foreign visitors from the Olympic Games means an estimated loss of sales of 10 billion yen (77 million euros) for the organizers, according to the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei.