• Jiji


A senior ruling party official has called on the central government, the Tokyo organizing committee and others to decide how many spectators will be allowed at the Tokyo Games in early June.

Hakubun Shimomura, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, made the comment during an NHK program on Sunday.

The decision needs to be made at such timing to start the games in July as currently planned, Shimomura noted.

He said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is expected to visit Japan in June and added, “We need to clarify by then to what extent we can accept spectators.”

“Having no audience would be fine. It’s too early to show the white flag,” said Yuzuru Takeuchi, Shimomura’s counterpart in Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, apparently mindful of growing public calls for the cancellation of the Tokyo Games.

Kenta Izumi, policy chief of the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, asked the government to consider canceling or postponing the games, saying, “The top priority should be put on what we can do to avoid imposing burdens on medical systems.”

Japanese Communist Party policy chief Tomoko Tamura urged the government to conclude that Japan cannot hold the Tokyo Games this summer.

Hitoshi Asada, policy head of Nippon Ishin no Kai, called on officials from the organizing committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the IOC and others to hold discussions on the fate of the games.

A third-party panel should be established by the end of this month to decide whether to hold the Tokyo Games, said Yasue Funayama, policy chief of the Democratic Party for the People.

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