Sources close to the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Olympic Games have revealed the group is expected to announce that only domestic fans will be allowed to cheer on athletes this summer in Tokyo.
Although a final public decision is not expected until next week, the sources say that ‘the government has concluded that welcoming fans from abroad is not possible given concerns among the Japanese public over the coronavirus and the fact that more contagious variants have been detected in many countries.’ (Kyodo News)
“We would really like people from around the world to come to a full stadium, but unless we are prepared to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it will cause a great deal of trouble also to visitors from overseas,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Japanese committee, told reporters last week.
In January of this year were reported how the Japanese government was reportedly considering three options for a springtime decision — not imposing a limit on spectators, placing a ceiling of 50 percent of the venues’ capacity or holding events behind closed doors.
At the time, Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an honorary professor at Kansai University, produced a report estimating the economic loss which would incur if the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were to be held without spectators.
He estimated that holding the Tokyo Games behind closed doors would cause national economic damage of up to ¥2.4 trillion (nearly $23 billion USD).
Earlier this month the Japanese Swiming Federation (JASF) announced that its Olympic Trials meet of the Japan Swim, set for April, would be held without spectators. You can read the full report on that here.