Delayed by a year.
Unwanted by the Japanese public.
Engulfed in an international sexist scandal.
Forbidding handshakes, hugs or high fives.
Not allowing cheering or singing.
And now, banning all the international spectators from overseas.
That’s the 2021 Tokyo Olympics summed up for you…
After a virtual meeting of the Five Parties this morning (the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the Government of Japan), an announcement was made that the Japanese parties would not allow entry into Japan for overseas spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
The statement from the Five Parties read: “Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries around the world is still very challenging and a number of variant strains have emerged, whilst international travel remains severely restricted globally.”
“Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas.
“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“This conclusion will further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public.”
It is estimated that the one‑year delayed Games have already cost at least 1.64 trillion yen (approximately £10.86 billion), but several government audits report the actual cost to be twice as much. The Tokyo Organizing committee was expecting to make around 90 billion yen (approximately £595.71 million) from the ticket sales only.
The committee will now have to refund all the overseas ticketholders and will release more information about domestic spectators by the end of April.
Japan has now recorded over 454,000 COVID cases, with a death toll around 8,783. With the population of over 126 million, these numbers might seem low, but Japan’s coronavirus vaccination programme has been slow, crippled by the lack of supply.
Feature image credit: reuters.com
Film, Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Sports editor @ Brig Newspaper. Bylines in Edinburgh Evening Times and the SPA National Magazine.
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