A decision on whether overseas fans can attend the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be made by the end of the month.
Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto hopes a call will have been made on whether spectators can travel to Japan for the Games in time for the start of the Olympic torch relay, which begins on March 25.
There are still doubts about the possibility of permitting supporters from outside of Japan, despite coronavirus vaccination programmes being rolled out around the world.
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As such, Hashimoto also confirmed a decision on whether venues will need their capacities to be limited will be made at the end of April.
Her comments were made following a five-party meeting between Tokyo 2020’s organising committee, the Japanese government, Tokyo’s local government, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
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The Olympics, which will be live on Eurosport, have been put back from last year and are due to start on July 23 and last until August 8.
“Regarding mutant (coronavirus) strains that's something we need to thoroughly think of”, said Hashimoto, speaking through an interpreter.
The Olympic rings outside the Japan National Stadium
Image credit: Getty Images
"As long as there is anxiety we need to make sure safety and security is going to be maintained.
"This is a point that the Japanese government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and Tokyo 2020 will consider.
It's not about whether it's difficult or not (to have overseas spectators), it's whether it would link to the safety and security of the Games for Japanese citizens. That is the priority.
"They all want to watch the Games and safety and security needs to be maintained or it would be a burden on the mental aspect as well."
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Hashimoto admitted they are looking into the possibility of events going behind closed doors, but stressed it would depend on the situation.
IOC president Thomas Bach said above everything, all parties have agreed the safety of the Games will be the number one aim.
"This has to be the clear focus to have a safe, secure and fair competition for all the athletes, because this is the core of the Olympic Games”, he said.
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