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Tokyo Olympics Will Go On This Summer Without Foreign Fans
The Japanese government has made the decision to stage the 2021 Tokyo Olympics without spectators from overseas.
This is according to Japanese media outlet Kyodo News, which also reports that the opening ceremony for the torch relay, set for March 25, would also be held without spectators.
The decision comes as a result of concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic and the detection of more contagious variants overseas. A recent Yomiuri newspaper poll of Japanese residents showed that 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend compared to the 18% who voted in favor.
The Japan Times reports that the organizing committee is prepared to issue refunds to overseas spectators. Over 1 million international fans were expected to visit Japan, but almost four and a half million tickets have been sold so far with 810,000 refunds being requested.
The Olympics, which were postponed last year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to take place between July 23 and Aug. 8, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.