Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympic Games will be held without spectators due to rising cases of coronavirus in the Japanese capital, Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa announced on Thursday.
“The venues in Tokyo will not include spectators,” said Marukawa.
The announcement came after the Japanese government decided to put Tokyo under a new COVID-19 state of emergency, which runs from July 12 to August 22 and covers the duration of the Olympics.
According to Kyodo News agency, the new policy of barring spectators was agreed on at a meeting attended by International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and representatives of the four bodies, the organizing committee, the International Paralympic Committee, as well as the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments.
At the outset of the meeting, Bach, who arrived in Tokyo on Thursday, said he and IPC chief Andrew Parsons continue to be “committed” to delivering the games safely with the Japanese organizers.
“We have shown this responsibility since the day of the postponement,” Bach said.
“And we will also show it today, and we will support any measure which is necessary to have a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Japanese people and all the participants,’ he added.
On Wednesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government reported 920 new coronavirus cases, the most since mid-May at the peak of Japan’s fourth wave and topping the figure from a week earlier for the 18th straight day.