Japan mulls 'simplified' Olympic Games next year
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said yesterday it may be necessary to stage a “simplified” Olympics next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and that organizers were already discussing possible changes.
Koike’s comments came after the Yomiuri newspaper reported that various options, such as mandatory coronavirus testing and having fewer spectators, were being considered by organizers.
John Coates, head of the International Olympic Committee’s inspectorate for Tokyo, has said organizers had to plan for what could be a “very different” Olympics if there were no signs of COVID-19 being eradicated.
“Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games calls for sympathy and understanding of Tokyoites and the Japanese people,” Koike said.
“For that, we need to rationalize what needs to be rationalized and simplify what needs to be simplified.”
The Yomiuri, citing government and organizing committee sources, said making Polymerase chain reaction tests mandatory for all spectators — in addition to athletes and staff — and limiting movement in and out of the athletes village were among the options Japan would discuss with the IOC.
At a regular briefing, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya did not confirm the details of the Yomiuri report.