TOKYO (AP) – Japan Aponia will not take part in China’s offer by the International Olympic Committee to provide vaccines to the “participants” of the postponed Tokyo Games and next year’s Beijing Winter Games.
Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa said on Friday that the IOC had not consulted with the IOC on Chinese vaccines and that Japanese athletes would not accept them. He said the vaccines had not been approved for use in Japan.
“We are taking comprehensive anti-virus measures for the Tokyo Games to allow participation without vaccinations,” Marukawa said. “There is no change in our principle of not making vaccinations a precondition.”
The surprise deal announced by IOC President Thomas Bach on Thursday comes as China faces international pressure to mediate at least 1 million Muslim Uyghurs, which has been called a “genocide” by several governments and human rights groups.
The IOC has stated that it is a sports body and will not interfere in China’s internal affairs.
The IOC initially said it would not require vaccines from athletes, but only encouraged them. The deal with China focuses more on getting vaccines for young, healthy athletes and others.
The IOC said it would pay for the vaccines, but did not say how much or how much.
Marukava noted that the Olympic Games are held as if there were no vaccines, relying on tests, masks, social distance, and keeping athletes “in a bubble”.
The distribution of vaccines in China will be done through international agencies or existing vaccine treaties that the countries have signed with China, Bach said.
China, where the COVID-19 outbreak occurred in late 2019, has been actively engaged in vaccine diplomacy, using doses developed by Sinovac և Sinopharm. The trials produced lower efficiencies than vaccines made outside of China.
Bach said on Thursday. “That a significant number of Olympic teams have already been vaccinated.” He did not name the countries.
“The IOC will make every effort to ensure that the same number of participants in this summer’s Olympic-Paralympic Games arrive vaccinated in vaccine,” Bach said.
Tokyo Organizing Committee Chairman Seiko Hashimoto told a news conference on Friday that those arriving in Japan with the vaccine could help calm the skeptical public.
80% of recent Aponians polls say the Olympics should be postponed or canceled, և almost as much do not want fans from abroad.
Hashimoto reiterated that the decision on foreign fans will be made before the torch relay starts on March 25. Numerous reports in Japan say that the decision to ban foreign visitors has already been made.
He added that a decision on the venue will be made in April.
“The sooner the better,” he said. “It is better to present the direction at an earlier stage. We receive requests to make decisions sooner.
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