We are in March, the month in which the Tokyo Olympics, held only a year ago, fell apart. The delayed Tokyo Olympics seems to happen in less than five months without any fans from overseas. According to the Japanese newspaper, international fans could be excluded. It is impractical in the current circumstance to have international spectators, the journal reported, quoting an unidentified government official.
The news was released just an hour before Tokyo organizers conducted online five-party talks with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Japanese government.
Fans were said to be a big part of the conversation, and IOC President Thomas Bach pointed at several tough decisions ahead of the meeting in his remarks.
Before the meeting began without reporters, Bach said: “We will focus on the essentials. That means mainly the competitions. This has to be the clear focus. In this respect we may have to set one or another priority.”
The Summer Olympics will begin on July 23, 2021. With the games taking place during a pandemic, international audiences’ absence was almost a foregone conclusion. The Japanese public has been outspoken in their opposition to the games, with one sticking point being the danger faced by foreign tourists entering the region. The rising prices have been the other factor.
There will be 11,000 Olympic competitors and 4,400 Paralympians competing in the events, as well as tens of thousands of referees, judges, supporters, journalists, and VIPs. The amount of national Olympic committees having competitors vaccinated, according to Bach, is encouraging. Vaccinations are recommended but not needed, according to the IOC.
Bach was hoping to have participants vaccinated in Tokyo. He further said: “There I can inform you that a considerable number of national Olympic committees has already secured this pre-Tokyo vaccination.”
It would be expensive to have no fans. Ticket purchases are expected to bring in $800 million, according to the planning committee. Japanese government departments would be responsible for making up the difference.
They are the costliest Olympic Games ever. Officially, the cost is $15.4 billion, although two federal audits indicate that it may be almost double as much except for $6.7 billion, much of the funding comes from the government.
On Tuesday, Seiko Hashimoto, the current president of the organizing committee, warned of the challenges. “The biggest challenge is the countermeasures against COVID-19. Nobody can foresee how the situation will be this summer, “she said.