16 Jun 2021

Japan considering limited domestic spectators at Olympics - media

2:04 pm on 16 June 2021

Japanese officials in charge of coronavirus countermeasures will hold a news conference later on Wednesday, with domestic media reporting that a proposal to allow limited numbers of domestic spectators for the Olympics is under consideration.

A Ready Steady Tokyo - Athletics Test Event in preparation for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

A Ready Steady Tokyo - Athletics Test Event in preparation for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Japan plans to move forward on a proposal that will allow up to 10,000 spectators or 50 percent of a venue's capacity, whichever is smaller, at events during the Games, Kyodo News said late Tuesday, citing government sources.

Top officials among Prime Minister's Yoshihide Suga's administration are reviewing options such as putting a cap for the number of domestic spectators at 5000 or 10,000, local television network TV Asahi reported.

Foreign spectators are already prohibited from the Olympics beginning on 23 July.

Organisers and government officials in Japan have said they would continue to work on coronavirus measures for a "safe and secure" Games, and that a decision on domestic spectators would be made this month.

Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and the government's top medical adviser Shigeru Omi will hold a joint news conference on Wednesday, the Cabinet Office said.

Nishimura and Omi would talk about the government's coronavirus responses during the briefing on Wednesday, the Cabinet Office said, but did not provide further details and the time has yet to be decided.

The Olympics have already been postponed by a year amid concerns over how organisers can keep volunteers, athletes, officials and the Japanese public safe when they begin on 23 July after a fourth wave of infections.

Tokyo, Osaka and eight other prefectures remain under a state of emergency that is set to end on 20 June.

- Reuters