Geneva – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will arrive in Japan for the Tokyo Games on July 12, 11 days before the opening ceremony, IOC Vice President John Coates said Wednesday.
Coates will be in Tokyo to oversee preparations from June, he wrote in a letter addressed to various Olympic stakeholders, including athletes, national Olympic committees and international sporting federations.
Bach had planned to visit the country this month, but his trip was postponed due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections across Japan. He is considering rescheduling this trip for June ahead of the July 23 opening of the games.
The IOC president was to participate in a torch relay event in Hiroshima Prefecture last Monday and meet with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga the following day.
In the letter, Coates reiterated the IOC's commitment to holding the Tokyo Games despite COVID-19 concerns, with quotes from Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike providing assurances the games can be held safely.
He sent the letter after the first of the three-day coordination commission meetings held to oversee preparations for the games, saying he felt it important to update stakeholders with the latest information from relevant decision-makers.
Coates hailed work done by organizers to implement science-based solutions "such as screening testing, mask-wearing, personal hygiene and physical distancing."
"They also draw upon the experience of hundreds of sports events that have taken place safely across the world over the past year, with minimal risk to participants and also, importantly, the local population," he added.
The three-day Olympic readiness meetings come at a time when skepticism about holding the event has grown noticeably, with 59.7% of respondents in a recent Kyodo News poll saying they should be canceled. The coordination commission meetings run through Friday.
The Summer Games, already postponed for a year due to the pandemic, will involve about 11,000 athletes from around the world.
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