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News > Japan

No Foreign Audience at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

  • Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, attends a press briefing after a council meeting in Tokyo, Japan, 03 March 2021.

    Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, attends a press briefing after a council meeting in Tokyo, Japan, 03 March 2021. | Photo: EFE/EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/POOL

Published 9 March 2021
Opinion

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are to be held in the summer. The Japanese population largely supports this restrictive measure, despite the economic impact. 

The government of Japan has decided to exclude foreign audiences from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (to be held in the summer) as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus,  the Kyodo news agency reported, citing "officials with knowledge of the matter" as sources.

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The government, according to Kyodo, has concluded that it is not possible to welcome people from abroad, given the Japanese public's concern about the coronavirus and the fact that more contagious COVID-19 variants have been detected in other countries, according to officials consulted, who spoke to the Japanese agency on condition of anonymity.

In principle, Japan continues to halt new foreign nationals entries, as the government takes longer than initially expected to curb the number of contagions since early January when it peaked at more than 2,500 cases per day in Tokyo.

According to a survey recently published by the Yomiuri newspaper in which 91% were in favor of keeping the number of spectators to a minimum or not allowing them to enter, the Japanese population supports this restrictive measure.

On the other hand, a poll conducted between January and February showed that 70% are interested in the Olympics, but 58% preferred that they not be held for fear of COVID-19.

With this, the Japanese government will also have to review its growth strategy, as expectations were high that inbound visitors would revive the Japanese economy, especially before the Games were delayed by a year due to the virus outbreak.

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