Olympics ban spectators after Tokyo declares COVID-19 emergency

Tokyo — The Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators, the organizers said Thursday, as the resurrected pandemic forced Japan to declare a coronavirus state of emergency for the capital running through the event.

Widely expected, the move has shown a radical shift from just a few weeks before the organizers said they were aiming to host a global sports showpiece with a limited audience. ..

“It’s a shame that we are holding the Games in a very limited format in the face of the spread of coronavirus infection,” said Seiko Hashimoto, President of Tokyo 2020, a government official, Tokyo organizer, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I mentioned following the meeting with the representative of.

“I’m sorry for those who purchased the ticket and everyone in the area.”

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it is essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly infectious delta COVID-19 mutant is endemic, from causing a new wave of infection.

Epoch Times Photo
There are signs of social distance at Haneda Airport prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held in Tokyo on July 8, 2021. (Kim Jeong Hoon / Reuters)

The ban almost deprives the last hope for the glitz and public sight of the Tokyo Olympics, which will take place from July 23 to August 8.

The exhibition event, which was seen as a big opportunity for Japan to stand on the world stage after the catastrophic earthquake 10 years ago, was delayed by last year’s pandemic and suffered a huge cost overrun.

Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa said the organizers agreed to hold the Games in Tokyo without spectators and decide on venues outside the capital depending on local conditions.

Health professionals say in weeks that the absence of an audience is the least risky option, given widespread public concern that an influx of thousands of athletes and officials will fuel a new wave of infection. I am.

Hidemi Yamamitsu, Jumin Park, Sakura Murakami

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