TOKYO (AP) – The postponed Tokyo Olympics look set to take place without foreign fans when they open just five months later.
The mainstream Mainichi newspaper reported on Wednesday that a decision had been made to exclude foreign fans. It cited only anonymous sources “involved in the discussions”. It said the final decision would be made “within a month”.
“In the current situation, it is impossible to attract a foreign audience,” the newspaper said, citing an unnamed government official.
The visit came just an hour before Tokyo organizers held “five-way” talks with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the central government of Japan.
Fans reportedly make up the bulk of the discussion, with IOC President Thomas Bach hinting that difficult choices must be made in the comments before the meeting.
“We will focus on the most important issues,” Bach said before the meeting began without the presence of journalists. “It mainly means competitions. This should be a clear focus. In this regard, we may have to prioritize this or that. “
The Olympic Games will open on July 23. The exclusion of foreign fans was almost a foregone conclusion with the games being played during the epidemic. Japanese aponia society is openly against games,: one important point is the risk posed by visitors entering the country. The other is rising costs.
11,000 Olympic athletes will take part in the Games, and later – 4400 Paralympians, և tens of thousands of coaches, judges, sponsors, media և VIP. Bach said he was inspired by the National Olympic Committees that vaccinate athletes. The IOC has said it encourages vaccines but will not require them.
Bach said he hoped to “have as many participants as possible who will arrive in Tokyo vaccinated.”
“There I can inform you that a significant number of National Olympic Committees have already provided the initial Tokyo vaccine,” Bach said.
Not having fans will be expensive. The organizing committee made $ 800 million from the sale of budget tickets. This shortfall must be filled by the state institutions of Japanese aponia.
It is not clear how many local fans are allowed in the venues, the quotas may vary depending on internal or external settings.
These are the most expensive Olympic Games ever recorded. The official value is $ 15.4 billion, although two state audits suggest it could be almost double that.
The new chairman of the organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, warned on Tuesday of the impending problems.
“The biggest challenges are the countermeasures against COVID-19,” he said. “No one can predict what the situation will be like this summer.”
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