US’ Japan travel advisory will not affect Tokyo Olympics: spokesman

Update 1: Adds Japan’s reaction, changes headline

Tokyo, May 25 (EFE).- Japan said Tuesday that Washington’s decision to advise against traveling to the country will not affect the United States delegation’s Tokyo Olympics participation in July.

Tokyo’s remarks come following the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and State Department’s Monday recommendations maximizing the travel alert level for Japan.

This decision has been explained to Tokyo and is based on “the situation of the expansion of Covid-19 in Japan,” Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said Tuesday at a press conference.

Despite this recommendation, “there are no changes regarding the position of the US government, which supports the decision to hold the Tokyo Games,” according to Kato, who added that “it is not related to the sending of the American Olympic delegation to the Games.”

The disease control center and the state department issued two parallel travel recommendations raising the alert level for Japan from 3 to 4 (the highest.)

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Japan,” the center wrote.

“Due to the current (pandemic) situation in Japan, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk of contracting and spreading variants of Covid-19 and should avoid all travel to Japan,” it said.

This comes at a time infections are at their highest in Japan and a slow vaccination campaign. On Monday, Japan mobilized its military to manage mass vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka.

Tamayo Marukawa, the minister in charge of the Olympics, said the United States’ decision “will have no effect on its athletes’ participation in the Games,” adding that Tokyo “continues to be committed to organizing safe Olympics.”

Japan maintains strict border controls and the Olympic organizing committee has recommended that participants shorten their stay in the country, enter it as close to their competition as possible and leave once they have competed. EFE


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