The Tokyo Olympic Games, which will open on July 23, will be able to reach 50% of the maximum number of spectators, although the maximum number of people will not exceed 10,000. This decision was made after the IOC held a meeting with the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other units of the five parties of the Eastern Olympics. Of course, if there is a strong rebound of the epidemic, the games may also be held behind closed doors in empty stadiums where live spectators are prohibited.
The decision, announced Monday (June 21) by the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, ends months of speculation and debate over whether domestic spectators will be allowed inside the competition venues. Back in March, the organizing committee had already decided not to allow spectators from abroad to travel to Japan to watch the games live in the pavilions.
A statement released by the East Olympic Organizing Committee on Monday said, “Due to government restrictions on public events, the number of spectators at the Olympic Games will be limited to 50 percent of the maximum number of spectators set at the pavilion, but the maximum number of people will not exceed 10,000.” The organizing committee will make a decision on July 16 as to whether to open the Paralympic Games, which debuts in August, to live spectators and how to limit the number of spectators at the pavilions.
The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled to be held last summer, but were postponed to this summer because of the intensification of the New Crown epidemic. But the organizing committee has already sold millions of tickets for the Olympic venues before making the decision to postpone the event. Although hundreds of thousands of ticket buyers have returned their tickets over the past year, the number of valid tickets still greatly exceeds the number of spectators who can enter the competition venue after the 50% seating limit. In order to solve this problem, the organizing committee will hold a lottery for potential spectators with valid tickets to determine which lucky spectators will be able to attend the game in person.
Even for those lucky spectators, the Japanese public will be required to wear masks the entire time they enter the stadium, not to shout or cheer for the athletes, and to obey the broadcast instructions to leave the stadium in groups after the game to avoid mixing. In order to prevent people from moving across the area and reduce the chance of human contact, spectators will be limited to local residents near the stadium.
The latest Kyodo poll shows that more than 86 percent of people surveyed are still uncomfortable with the possibility of an epidemic backlash from hosting the Olympics; more than 40 percent believe the games should be held entirely behind closed doors; and more than 30 percent still insist the Olympics should be canceled altogether.
The Japanese government cancelled the “Declaration of Emergency” in nine places, including Tokyo, on Sunday (June 20), but seven places, including Tokyo, immediately entered into the less intense “Prevention of Spread and Other Priority Measures” after the cancellation of the “Declaration of Emergency. However, after the cancellation of the declaration of emergency in Tokyo and seven other places, the government immediately went to the less intensive “priority measures” such as prevention of the spread of the disease.