Organizers’ decision to ban spectators at most Tokyo Olympics events has forced some Japanese sponsors to take abrupt measures.
Many top sponsors are expressing understanding for the move amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nippon Life Insurance Co. said it was “a decision to host a safe and secure games.”
Toyota Motor Corp. , which will supply autonomous electric vehicles to the athletes’ village, said that it “wants to contribute to a safe Olympics with the power of mobility.”
Panasonic Corp. said that the company will “help spread cheer and excitement around the world through screens.”
As a result of the decision, travel agencies JTB Corp., KNT-CT Holdings Co. , the parent of the Kinki Nippon Tourist travel firm, and Tobu Top Tours Co. were forced to cancel package tours that included tickets to Olympic events.
The travel agencies plan to contact individuals who have already paid for the packages about refunds.
“It’s heartbreaking to break the news to those who were waiting excitedly,” a Tobu Top Tours official said.
East Japan Railway Co. will cancel planned increases in services at nighttime and early morning, which had been timed to coincide with Olympic events.
ANA Holdings Inc.’s All Nippon Airways has decided not to distribute tickets acquired as a sponsor benefit to clients.
The spectator ban deals a blow to businesses, including hotels and restaurants, that are now expected to experience a wave of cancellations.
Several companies said that they wished the decision to ban spectators had been made sooner.
One company official placed the blame on the company’s slow vaccine rollout.
“If COVID-19 vaccines were made available earlier, all Olympic events may have been held in front of live crowds,” an official at one sponsor firm said. “It is the failure of the government.”
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