• Reuters

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International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will visit Japan in May, Kyodo News said on Saturday, as the nation struggles to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases before the start of the games.

Bach will attend a torch relay ceremony in Hiroshima on May 17 and meet with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga the next day, Kyodo said, citing sources close to the matter. Bach is expected to back Japan’s commitment to safely host the Summer Games.

“We are aware of President Bach’s intention to come to Japan and would welcome such a visit,” the Tokyo Organising Committee said in a statement. “However, nothing concrete has been decided.”

Representatives for the Tokyo Olympics could not be reached when called for comment outside regular business hours.

With fewer than 100 days until the Olympics are due to start in Tokyo, Japan extended quasi-emergency measures to 10 prefectures on Friday as a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases spreads.

Suga, who is on a state visit to the United States, said at a news conference on Friday that he told President Joe Biden he was committed to moving forward with the Games and that Biden offered his support.

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