Overseas visitors to be barred from Tokyo 2020 Games

Overseas spectators will not be allowed to attend the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic after the Japanese government opted to block visitors from other countries from attending the Games, the Kyodo News agency has reported.

According to the report, the government, the country’s organising committee of the Games and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will convene next week to confirm  a decision on the matter.

The decision has been taken as a consequence of the pandemic and the new and contagious variants emerging in different countries.

Tokyo 2020’s organising committee President, Seiko Hashimoto, said last week that if spectators were to attend the Summer Games, it would have to be safe to do so.

Hashimoto explained: “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.”

However, Kyodo News reported that the government will review its growth strategy, with the lack of overseas visitors set to hit the country hard with refunds to be issued to ticket buyers should visitors be banned from attending.

According to the AFP news service, 900,000 tickets have been sold outside of Japan, with Kyodo News estimating that ticket sales would generate ¥90 billion in revenue, along with additional spending from overseas visitors.

The event, which was expected to ‘revive the Japanese economy’, is already said to go down as the most expensive Olympic Games of all time, overtaking London 2012 in the history books.

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