Japan’s emperor says he’s concerned about Covid-19 risk at Olympics

Tokyo, Jun 24 (EFE).- Japan’s Emperor Naruhito said he was concerned about the coronavirus situation in the country and the risk that the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo next month could generate more contagion, the Imperial Household’s Agency reported Thursday.

The emperor, who holds the symbolic position of honorary president of the Tokyo Games, said he had “great concern about the current situation of infections,” according to Yasuhiko Nishimura, head of the agency.

“I think he is concerned that there are voices of concern among the public and that the celebration of the games could lead to an expansion of infections,” Nishimura told local media during a press conference.

The emperor, who only on rare occasions addresses the public directly, such as his birthday, also said organizers would “do everything possible” to avoid a spike in infections during the event.

The state of emergency imposed on Tokyo and other regions in the country due to the pandemic was lifted Monday after infections eased since mid-May.

The games will be held in a bubble format with wide limitations for participants, especially those from outside Japan.

Organizers also decided at the beginning of the week that they will allow up to 10,000 spectators to enter Olympic venues, contrary to the recommendations of experts who pointed out that holding the tests behind closed doors was the least risky option. EFE


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