Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Japan has decided, surveys and polls inclining to the same decision, to finally conduct the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and Paralympics, which was postponed by a year, with no overseas spectators because of the rising number of cases and multi-variant strains in many countries.
This was announced by Kyodo, Japan’s leading news agency, where they cited several officials with knowledge of the matter. This loss in this case is heavy after the postponement of the game caused the cost to skyrocket to about 1.64 trillion yen ($15 billion) and the expected earnings from the ticket sales were estimated to be about 90 billion yen.
Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Japanese committee, expressed his dismay over the decision, saying that he would like for people worldwide to attend the events, adding that unless the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it would bring discomfort and inconveniences to the overseas visitors.
Apart from the hassle of reviewing the decisions because of the fluctuations in the number of cases all over the world, the committee now needs to work on refunding foreign ticket holders. The ceremony will be held in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors—which was chosen as the starting point of the relay to showcase the recovery of the northeastern region which had been a site of multiple disasters (Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the earthquake, and the tsunami, making it a triple disaster).
Only participants and invitees will be allowed to take part in the event to avoid larger crowds. Several celebrity torchbearers who would have drawn enormous crowds on the way have also opted out. The committee will now decide the number of spectators (local) in April on Japanese restrictions on attendance at large events.
The Olympics are lined up to take place between July 23 and August 8 while the Paralympics are scheduled to be held from August 24 to September 5.