Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12.24 6 Jul 2021


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The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics may be staged in front of just a limited number of VIPs, according to reports in Japan.

Almost 10,000 were due to attend but the Asahi newspaper says that could be drastically reduced with the Japanese capital still under coronavirus restrictions.

If that turns out to be the case, the only people inside the 68,000 capacity stadium for the opening ceremony on July 23rd will be people connected to sponsors and other special guests.

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There are also claims that events at large venues, or staged after 9pm, could be held without any spectators to discourage people from spending time in Tokyo after the events have ended.

There is already a ban on overseas spectators and a cap on domestic spectators of 10,000 per venue, or 50% of capacity.

The cap could still be lowered if Tokyo still has certain restrictions in place by the time the Games get underway.

Several surveys carried out with the people of Tokyo have shown the majority are against the Games going ahead but organisers and the International Olympic Committee have pushed ahead regardless.

Less than 15% of people in Japan are fully vaccinated as the country prepares for the arrival of tens of thousands of athletes, coaches, officials and journalists in the coming weeks.

IOC president Thomas Bach will meet Japanese government and Olympic officials on Thursday to discuss attendance caps, while it's also expected prime minister, Yoshihide Suga will extend coronavirus restrictions in Tokyo beyond its original end date of July 11th.


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