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No overseas spectators to be allowed at Tokyo Olympics
Lausanne, March 20, 2021
There will be no overseas visitors at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 to be hosted by Japan this summer, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee decided at a virtual meeting today.
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) were today informed by the Japanese parties in the five-parties meeting about their conclusion regarding overseas spectators at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this summer. For the reason of the safety of every Games participant and the Japanese people, their conclusion is fully respected and accepted by the IOC and the IPC," a press release from IOC said.
"During the meeting, the IOC and the IPC were informed that, as outlined in the full statement by Tokyo 2020, the conclusion of the Japanese parties is not to allow entry into Japan for overseas spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the prevailing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Olympic and Paralympic Games tickets purchased by overseas residents from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will be refunded," the release said.
The quadrennial Games were originally slated to be held in 2020 but had to be deferred by a year due to the pandemic and is now scheduled to begin on July 23 this year.
The Japanese parties at the meeting included the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the Government of Japan.
“We share the disappointment of all enthusiastic Olympic fans from around the world, and of course the families and friends of the athletes, who were planning to come to the Games,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “For this I am truly sorry. We know that this is a great sacrifice for everybody. We have said from the very beginning of this pandemic that it will require sacrifices.
“But we have also said that the first principle is safety. Every decision has to respect the principle of safety first. I know that our Japanese partners and friends did not reach this conclusion lightly. Together with them, the IOC’s top priority was, is and remains to organise safe Olympic and Paralympic Games for everyone: all the participants and, of course, our gracious hosts, the Japanese people. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the side of our Japanese partners and friends, without any kind of reservation, to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 a great success.
“Together with our Rights-Holding Broadcasters, we will make every effort so that the fans from around the world will be able to experience the Olympic spirit. In this way, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be the light at the end of the tunnel and a safe manifestation of peace, solidarity and the resilience of humankind in overcoming the pandemic," Bach added.