Japanese News Network Says Summer Games Will Go on, but Without Foreign Fans
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The Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in Tokyo, Japan but without any overseas spectators. The Japanese public is concerned about COVID-19 and variants of the disease that have been found in other countries.
The Kyodo news agency published this update on March 9 citing sources within the government, but it has not been confirmed by Japanese officials. There is no news on how many Japanese spectators will be allowed within each venue.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he hopes to have a decision regarding spectators by the end of March.
“The organising committee has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic,” Kyodo News said.
The Olympics were postponed a year due to the pandemic and are set to take place starting July 23. The Paralympics will begin on August 24.
Postponing has caused the price of hosting the games to increase to around 15 billion. Now, the Olympic Committee will also have to refund foreign ticket holders, forgoing that revenue from the games. Around 810,000 ticket holders have already requested a refund.
During the 2012 London Olympics, foreign fans made up only 20% of ticket sales. The other 80% went to local spectators.