Tokyo Olympics: The decision whether to allow a limited number of crowd at the Tokyo Olympics that begins on July 23 will be taken at a later date as the Organising Committee is still unsure of the crowd in the Summer Games. Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s President of the Organising Committee said that a decision can only be taken depending on the situation.
On Friday, the Japanese government is expected to announce an extension to the state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures due to the caseload. In Tokyo and others, hospital beds are still difficult to come by despite decreasing number of daily cases. To lift the load, the government is expected to announce an extension till June 20 with just a month left.
With the emergency in place, a decision cannot be taken. Furthermore, if the emergency is extended even further and till Tokyo Olympics, spectators will not be present. Seiko Hashimoto has already hinted at the games, sans spectators.
“We are prepared for no spectators. But we want as many people to watch as the situation allows,” Seiko Hashimoto said last week.
Tokyo Olympics: Japanese govt set to extend state of emergency till June 20
The government will consult its scientific panel on Friday before announcing a decision. “In Osaka and Tokyo, the flow of people is starting to creep up, and there are concerns that infections will rise,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, the country’s head of COVID-19 measures, said.
Tokyo Olympics: With Tokyo Olympics less than two months away, the extended restrictions and state of emergency further put the Games in doubt. The Japanese government is under pressure from the public and various stakeholders to cancel or postpone the Summer Games even though it has vowed to put strict measures.
Even though the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government remain defiant on hosting the Olympics as not holding it could lead to huge losses for both, Suga said the situation is highly unpredictable.
“Infections are declining in some areas including Tokyo and Osaka but on the whole, the situation is highly unpredictable,” PM Yoshihide Suga told Japanese media.
Tokyo Olympics: The prolonged state of emergency, travel ban and fears of new novel Coronavirus variants have put the Games in doubt with doctors, businesses besides citizens calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled. The latest poll last week showed around 80% of Japanese citizens want the Tokyo games to be cancelled or postponed further.
The Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and other leaders in various prefectures have called for an extended emergency period that will help them put tougher restrictions beyond the current measures. It could see a ban on restaurants serving alcohol and asking them to close by 8 PM while also put a cap on attendance at sports venues.
The primary concern is the country’s slow vaccination drive that has seen less than 3% of its population fully vaccinated while only 6% receiving at least one shot. However, the good sign for the Games is that the fourth wave is flatlining and if the trend continues for another 15 days, it could raise hopes for the Games that will kick start on July 23.