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Marking the one-month countdown to the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, organizing committee President Seiko Hashimoto insisted Tuesday that holding the troubled event would “contribute to the renewal of the connection of people through the power of sports” as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic — even as questions remain over whether the games should be opening up to spectators.

Speaking to a media roundtable, Hashimoto — who assumed her role in February following the resignation of gaffe-prone former President Yoshiro Mori over sexist comments at a board meeting — said she thinks participating athletes will be understanding of restrictions that have seen overseas fans barred and local crowds severely limited.

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