A growing number of government officials and Tokyo Olympics organizers are leaning toward allowing domestic spectators at this summer’s games if thorough anti-coronavirus measures are taken, sources tell Kyodo.
Last week, a senior ruling party official called for a final decision on spectator numbers to be made before June 12, when International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is due to visit. The organizing committee has already announced it will ban overseas fans and cut the number of visiting officials at least in half.
Bach kicked off a three-day Japan-IOC meeting Wednesday with reassurances that the games could be held safely, while IOC veep John Coates said Friday the Olympics could go ahead even if Tokyo is still under a coronavirus state of emergency come July.
Japan’s top government COVID-19 adviser sounded a more cautious note the same day, saying organizers must decide whether to go ahead with the games after scrutinizing the impact they could have on the nation’s medical system.
The Japanese public, meanwhile, is less enthusiastic than ever, with more than 80% now favoring cancellation or postponement, according to one poll. But that looks unlikely to happen as long as participating countries hold firm — which so far they have, with one exception — even as some volunteers have voted with their feet.