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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Japan to host the Games without overseas spectators

Kyodo News Agency confirmed that the Tokyo Olympics 2020 that was rescheduled in 2021 will be staged without overseas spectators due to public concern over the coronavirus and the spread of more contagious variants.

The Japanese government has decided to exclude overseas spectators during Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The government, organising committee, IOC and more relevant bodies are expected to hold a remote meeting next week to make a formal decision on the issue of overseas visitors.

Kyodo News Agency also said that the opening ceremony of the torch relay on 25th March for Tokyo Olympics 2020 would also take place without spectators and with limited participants. “The organising committee of Olympics has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the north-eastern 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 said, quoting the officials.

Japan continues to halt new entries of foreign nationals in principle as it is taking more time than initially expected for the government to stem the number of infections, which peaked at more than 2,500 cases per day in Tokyo in early January.

About a million foreign spectators were expected to enter Japan, and 4.45 million tickets had already been sold in the country. Of those, 810000 requests for refund had been made. Now, with this decision, refunds would need to be made to international ticket holders.

The IOC has however requested that Japan accept foreign spectators from sponsor companies.

About Poulomi Kundu

PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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