Fans banned from Games venues in Tokyo, according to Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa-Sports News, Firstpost

Marukawa said that, in other areas, organizers would decide on “concrete measures” for spectators after discussions with each local governor.

File image of Tamayo Marukawa, Minister of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. AFP

Tokyo: Spectators will be banned from accessing Tokyo Olympic venues due to a viral state of emergency, the Japanese Olympic Minister said Thursday, which means the Games will be held mostly behind closed doors.

“We have reached an agreement on the absence of spectators at the Tokyo venues,” Tamayo Marukawa said after talks involving local and national government officials, Olympic and Paralympic organizers and leaders.

Most of the Olympic competitions will take place in Tokyo, but a few events will take place outside the Japanese capital.

Marukawa said that, in other areas, organizers would decide on “concrete measures” for spectators after discussions with each local governor.

The public has previously been urged to stay away from the marathon, which takes place in the northern region of Hokkaido to beat the summer heat of Tokyo.

And much of the torch relay crossing the country was also held behind closed doors due to virus concerns.

The spectators’ decision comes after the Japanese government said Thursday that Tokyo would be under a state of emergency against viruses from July 12 to August 22.

The measure is much more flexible than the severe shutdowns seen elsewhere, but comes with an increase in infections in the capital and concerns about the increased prevalence of the Delta variant.

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