Japan has officially decided to move forward with this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. After countless back-and-forths, the organization will go ahead with the Games for both the Olympics and the Paralympics, but will host them without overseas spectators due to the growing concern of COVID-19 cases.
The Olympics have already been postponed by a year due to the pandemic. It is now scheduled to occur between July 23 to August 8, 2021 with the Paralympics hosted between August 24 to September 5, 2021. As the Olympic ceremonies, Kyodo News reports, “The organising committee has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic.”
The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee confirmed that the decision was made due to “factors including the state of infections in Japan and other countries, possible epidemic-prevention measures, and expert scientific advice.”
Reuters reported that local tickets typically account for 70-80 percent of the ticket sales in past Olympics. By last December, the project ticket sales were expected to contribute $800 million USD to the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee. Surveys also showed that most Japanese citizens do not feel comfortable with international visitors.
Though the pandemic infections have been relatively low in Japan in comparison to its American and European counterparts, the city of Tokyo still remains in a state of emergency.
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