Having met the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said that he is extremely confident that the spectators will be allowed to attend the postponed Tokyo Games next year.
Bach is in Japan to attend a two days meeting with organisers of the Tokyo Games to discuss countermeasures against Covid-19. This is his first visit in Tokyo since the decision to postpone the Games to 2021 was made in March.
Along with discussions about the staging of the event, Bach also awarded former PM Shinzo Abe the Olympic Order, the highest honour of the Olympic Movement.
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Abe is the first japanese prime Minister to receive the Olympic Order and the 63rd Japanese recipient overall, and the first in four years.
“Ever since that September day in Buenos Aires, you have demonstrated your unwavering commitment to the Olympic Games and the Olympic values”, Bach said referring to the IOC Session on 7 September, 2013 - when Tokyo was named host city of the 2020 Olympic Games.
“This was evident in all your personal engagement in overseeing and supporting the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. With your unfaltering belief in the power of sport, it is no exaggeration to say that you have forged a special friendship with the Olympic community”.
Abe resigned in September this year due to health reasons and was succeeded by Suga Yoshihide. Upon his resignation there were concerns that his successor may overturn his decision on the staging of the Games — ones that have since ben proved otherwise.
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Bach told reporters that the Tokyo Games organisers will be working closely with the IOC to ensure a safe event. The main topic under discussion was the possibility of permitting spectators into venues, along with the safe accommodation of more than 11,000 athletes from across the world.
While the reports of successful vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc has given the Tokyo Games a shot in the arm, people in the country are yet to be convinced.
According to a poll by broadcasters NHK, around 70 percent of interviewees said the Games should be either postponed again or be cancelled.
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