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Tokyo 2020: Olympics and Paralympics set to take place behind closed doors, advises top health expert in Japanese government |  Olympic Games News


Dr Shigeru Omi met with representatives of the Tokyo 2020 local organizing committee on Friday and told them that “the best way” to ensure safety amid the coronavirus pandemic was to hold the Games without spectators

Last update: 06/18/21 1:05 PM

Delayed Tokyo Olympics set to run July 23 – August 8

Japan’s top coronavirus adviser has recommended that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics be held behind closed doors.

Dr Shigeru Omi met with representatives of the Tokyo 2020 local organizing committee on Friday and told them that “the best way” to ensure safety amid the pandemic was to hold the Games without spectators.

However, organizers said on Friday they were continuing to look for ways to have a limited number of Japanese spectators attend.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told a press conference: “Dr. Omi’s recommendations indicated that ideally the best way is to have the Games without spectators – this was his recommendation.

“But if we have to organize the Games with spectators, he also had his own recommendations in this case.”

Hashimoto added, “When we look at other sporting events like the J.League and professional baseball, they have provided us with sufficient evidence of what they have been able to accomplish so far under the circumstances.

“So we have to take those things into consideration as well, and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are very special.

“Therefore, Dr Omi mentioned that we need to be even stricter than other sports games, and I understand that. So we need to look at stricter rules and that’s what I think we should be doing.”

Hashimoto said there will be a five-party meeting on Monday where further discussions about spectators will take place.

The five parties are the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the National Government.

Currently, Japanese sporting events can accommodate 10,000 spectators or 50% of venues capacity, whichever is less.

A decision was taken in April to ban foreign spectators from entering Japan.

One of the measures to be implemented is to encourage spectators to return home immediately after attending an event, rather than stopping at a bar or restaurant, Hashimoto said.

Hashimoto added: “As long as we have spectators who would strive to see the Games on site, we would like to accommodate their requests as much as possible.

“We must do everything possible to minimize the risks until the very last minute and it is the mission of Tokyo 2020, to find the best way to achieve this.

“We must first ensure global security so that people have a sure mind.

“We will try to have people to enjoy the Games on site, but if the circumstances are still very difficult, then in that case we may be advised to make the very difficult decision not to host spectators at the very last. minute.

“But until this very last minute, we will continue to do our best.”

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