• Reuters, Kyodo

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Foreign journalists coming to Japan to cover the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be closely monitored via GPS to ensure they do not leave preregistered areas, such as hotels and sports venues, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said Tuesday.

She clarified the COVID-19 countermeasures relating to media covering the Games in opening remarks ahead of a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting.

The number of accommodations to be used by visiting journalists will be limited to about 150, down from the originally planned 350, Hashimoto added. "Accommodations will be restricted to those that can be monitored by the organizing committee. We will ask them not to stay at minpaku (private lodgings) or friends' houses," she said.

She also said Japan's Olympics-related staff were expected to start getting vaccinated in mid-June. Vaccinations for Olympics athletes began on June 1.

Hashimoto said the organizing committee secured about 90% of doctors and 80% of nurses needed for holding the games.

"We are still in a very difficult situation, but we have seen a gradual decrease of infections in Tokyo, and I am praying that the pandemic is brought under control as swiftly as possible," Hashimoto said at the start of a Tokyo 2020 board meeting.

With Japan still struggling to contain a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer Games has seen opposition from the public over concerns the sporting event could lead to more infections and overload medical facilities.

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