The relevant organizers of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games met on Saturday (March 20) and decided that the Games planned for this summer will not admit foreign spectators to Japan due to the New Coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting was attended by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Organizing Committee and The Japanese government. The meeting was conducted by video.
The Japanese Olympic Organizing Committee said in a statement that the organization will be responsible for refunding money to foreign spectators who have already purchased tickets for the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Tokyo Paralympic Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach reiterated that the organizers’ first concern was how to ensure the safety of all participants, Kyodo News reported.
Bach said, “We had to make this decision, it might require sacrifices from everybody, and we had to ask for understanding.”
The meeting was attended by Bach, Tokyo Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parson; Tokyo Metropolitan Executive Yuriko Koike and Japanese Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa.
Whether or not people from around the world will be allowed to come to Japan to watch this Olympics has been a highly controversial topic since the outbreak of the new crown Epidemic. Although the epidemic in Japan is less severe than in many neighboring countries, there are still many concerns that it will be difficult to avoid exacerbating the spread of the virus by hosting the games on such a large scale. It is expected that there could be as many as 15,000 athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics alone. There will also be as many as 80,000 volunteers, about 1/10 of whom will come from abroad.
The Japanese government’s previous assessment of Olympic safety concluded that it would be difficult to ensure the safety of attendees by relying on conventional epidemic prevention measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
The current Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games were originally scheduled for 2020 before Olympic organizers had no choice but to postpone the games for a year in March 2020 due to the New crown outbreak, the first Time in Olympic history that the Games were postponed. The Tokyo Summer Olympics are now scheduled to be held between July 23 and August 8, 2021, and the Paralympic Games are scheduled to be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.