Tokyo Olympics organizers declare, ‘entry of visiting officials to be cut by 60%’

Tokyo Olympics: IOC's big assurance, 'Olympics safe for participants & people of Japan'
Tokyo Olympics: IOC's big assurance, 'Olympics safe for participants & people of Japan'

Tokyo Olympics – 60% cut on visiting officials: The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has decided to further reduce the number of visiting officials. From180,000 game officials from overseas, the number will now be reduced between 80,000 to 90,000 officials, the committee’s CEO declared said Thursday.

Toshiro Muto told reporters ‘the number of athletes has remained unchanged at about 15,000′, but Muto said the number of officials may be cut further, depending on the situation of infections. The organizing committee has been asking bodies such as national Olympic committees and international sports federations to reduce the number of officials coming to Tokyo in order to simplify the games’ format.

“The (final) number may be really small if we consider (narrowing it down) to just individuals without whom the Olympics cannot take place,” he said.

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In a Thursday interview with Kyodo News, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said the IPC has achieved a 60 percent reduction in the number of officials from different organizations originally scheduled to attend the games.

“Only people who have a role to play, the operational role to play will be in Tokyo,” he said.

The IPC has also cut the number of its own staff coming to the games by more than 25 percent, Parsons said.

The organizers have already decided to hold the Olympics and Paralympics without spectators from abroad to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus Muto said settling on the number of overseas visitors is “one of the most important factors” of the planning process due to the need to prepare accommodations and transportation. Depending on the pandemic situation, he said, talks about further cuts could be necessary.

Tokyo Olympics: Japan Union Doctors big statement, “It is impossible to hold Olympics during pandemic”

Tokyo Olympics: Japan Union Doctors big statement, “It is impossible to hold Olympics during pandemic”: Holding the Tokyo Olympics safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage would be “impossible”, a union of Japanese hospital doctors warned on Wednesday.

“We strongly oppose holding the Tokyo Olympics at a time when people around the world are fighting the new coronavirus,” the union said in a statement submitted to the government.

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“It is impossible to hold a safe and secure Olympics during the pandemic.”

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The union, which represents staff doctors at hospitals, is one of a number in Japan for different medical professionals. It does not list the size of its membership.

“We can’t deny the danger that many kinds of new virus variants will bring to Tokyo from around the world,” the union statement added.

The statement comes as Japan battles a fourth wave of virus infections, with several areas including the capital under a state of emergency. The surge has put pressure on the country’s healthcare system, with medical professionals repeatedly warning about shortages and burnout.

In recent days, several governors have said they will not allocate hospital beds for athletes. And plans for teams to train in Japan before the Games have in some cases been scrapped. With just over 10 weeks until the Games open on July 23, public opinion remains opposed, with most favouring a further delay or cancellation.

But organisers say they can safely hold the Games thanks to virus countermeasures and point to a string of successful recent test events, including some featuring overseas athletes.