Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee chief Seiko Hashimoto said on Friday that the decision on how many local fans will be admitted to the seats will be made after the state of emergency is lifted next month.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has officially extended the state of emergency over Covid-19 in Tokyo and eight other prefectures by three weeks until June 20 amid a slow decline in infections. Hokkaido, which will host the Olympic marathon and walking competitions in its capital, Sapporo, is also one of the prefectures, Xinhua reported.
Just hours before Suga announced this, Hashimoto told reporters at a news conference that “a decision must be made as soon as possible, but after the state of emergency is lifted, we will make an assessment.”
She added, “What is important is to provide medical and scientific evidence to make the games safe and secure, so we will ask for information from (people from) these areas and draw enough conclusions.”
Foreign spectators will be barred from entering Japan for the games, and the decision on how many local fans will be allowed to watch the race was originally made in late April. But with Tokyo’s state of emergency on April 25th, organizers were forced to postpone the decision until June.
The Japanese government and organizers are under increasing pressure from a growing number of medical experts and Japanese to cancel the Olympics.