News : Olympics in Tokyo: IOC boss Thomas Bach is not allowed to enter Japan
A visit to Japan planned for this month by IOC boss Thomas Bach before the Olympic Games in Tokyo has been postponed due to the corona emergency in Japan. The Japanese organizers announced this. “In view of the extension of the state of emergency last week and various circumstances, the visit of IOC President Bach to Japan planned for May 17 and 18 has been postponed,” a statement said.
The corona situation in Japan and other relevant factors will continue to be monitored and Bach’s visit will be rearranged “as soon as possible.” Japan has extended the emergency for Tokyo and other regions to May 31 due to rising infections.
According to media reports, the President of the International Olympic Committee had planned to attend a ceremony during the torch relay in Hiroshima. In addition, meetings with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Olympic organizer Seiko Hashimoto and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike were planned. The IOC had said that there were no fixed dates for Bach’s visit to Japan. The 67-year-old last traveled to Tokyo in November and met Suga and representatives of the organizing committee there.
Another damper for the torch relay
“I think it is very important that President Bach see the situation with his own eyes,” Hashimoto had said earlier. However, she had also announced: “In view of the extension of the state of emergency, this is very difficult.”
The torch relay will have to be banned from public roads again anyway because of the increasing number of infections. Western Okayama Prefecture Governor Ryuta Ibaragi was quoted on Monday as saying it was next to impossible to hold it in the two larger cities of Okayama and Kurashiki next week as planned. It is also difficult for the torch-bearers to run through other cities in the prefecture. Okayama would be the second prefecture after Fukuoka where the torch relay cannot take place.
But sure – games should continue to be played
Despite the worrying corona situation in Japan and many other countries, the IOC and Tokyo’s Olympic organizers continue to tirelessly emphasize that the summer games in July and August, which have been postponed by a year, want to be held “safely”. Suga reiterated this on Monday.
The organizers of the games have already excluded foreign fans. They do not want to answer the question of admitting domestic viewers until June. Foreign journalists are likely to be severely restricted in their freedom of movement in Tokyo.