Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Olympics-Japan may keep some virus curbs until Games start -paper

Coronavirus NewsJun 11, 2021 09:35
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Tokyo Olympic Games, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building in Tokyo, Japan, January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

By Sakura Murakami and Chang-Ran Kim

TOKYO (Reuters) -The Japanese government is considering ending a state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures as scheduled on June 20, but keeping some curbs such as on restaurant hours until the Olympics start in July, the Mainichi daily reported.

New coronavirus infections in Olympics host Tokyo have inched down during the last month of emergency restrictions although authorities remain concerned about the spread of variants and the continued strain on medical resources.

On Friday, the head of Japan's main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Yukio Edano, called for the Games to be postponed or cancelled, saying there was an "extremely high risk" of an explosive outbreak in August and September if they went ahead.

The Mainichi newspaper reported on Friday the government would ask restaurants to keep shorter hours and impose other curbs under the targeted quasi-emergency measures. Bars and restaurants are now asked to close by 8 p.m. and are banned from serving alcohol.

A final decision is expected late next week, a few days before the end of the current emergency state, which also covers the northern island of Hokkaido, host of the marathon event.

Polls have shown many of the Japanese public oppose holding the Games this year, worried about the flood of athletes and officials from overseas. Japan has effectively been closed to foreign visitors since the pandemic broke out last year.

The Japanese government and Olympic organisers have said the Games would go ahead - barring "Armageddon", as one International Olympic Committee (IOC) member put it. They are scheduled to start on July 23.

NOT TOO LATE

A Tokyo 2020 Olympic coronavirus expert, Nobuhiko Okabe, said completely shutting out the virus would be too difficult and the focus should be on minimising risk.

"Unfortunately, keeping the number (of coronavirus infections) to zero is impossible, so I believe the focus should be on minimising the number as much as possible," he told a news conference.

The cooperation of athletes and delegates was vital to prevent a major outbreak, he said.

Opposition leader Edano, however, said it was not too late to cancel or postpone the Games.

"I can understand the desire to go ahead for the sake of the athletes, but they should either postpone for another year or cancel the Games," Edano told a news conference.

The Japan Medical Workers Unions Federation on Friday called for the Games be cancelled or postponed in view of the burden on an already struggling medical system.

An expert panel led by medical adviser Shigeru Omi is likely to warn of the risks of allowing domestic spectators in a report expected before June 20, but will not directly address the pros and cons of holding the event, Jiji news agency reported.

The Japanese Olympics Committee (JOC) board member Kaori Yamaguchi, an Olympic judo medallist, echoed those concerns, telling Reuters the Games should be held without spectators to ensure the safety of the public.

In another potential headache for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government, the minister for digital transformation apologised for telling bureaucrats they should "threaten" the developer of a smartphone app aimed at monitoring the health of foreign visitors to the Games to force a reduction in cost, media reported.

Olympics organisers decided in March to ban spectators from abroad.

"As one responsible for the people's precious tax money, I strongly wanted to eradicate waste," Kyodo news agency quoted Takuya Hirai as telling reporters. "The expression was inappropriate and I want to be careful in future."

Japan has recorded more than 760,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 13,800 deaths, while only 12% of its population has received at least one vaccination shot.

Japan plans to finish vaccinating all those who want shots by October-November, Suga said in parliament this week.

Olympics-Japan may keep some virus curbs until Games start -paper
 

Related Articles

Hungary nurses demand better pay to stem exodus
Hungary nurses demand better pay to stem exodus By Reuters - Jul 31, 2021

By Anita Komuves BUDAPEST (Reuters) - More than 1,000 nurses gathered in Budapest on Saturday to demand better pay, after a survey showed many of them are considering leaving...

Britain's COVID-19 cases down by 33% over past week
Britain's COVID-19 cases down by 33% over past week By Reuters - Jul 31, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has reported 26,144 new cases of COVID-19, government data showed on Saturday, meaning the fall in cases between July 25 and July 31 stood at 33%...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email