Olympics doubt as Japan sees surge in coronavirus cases

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expanded Japan's state of emergency.

A wave of new coronavirus cases in Tokyo has thrown preparations for the Olympics into doubt for a second time.

Japan’s coronavirus state of emergency has widened to cover more than half the population, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga saying they would take every measure to save lives.

All non-resident foreign nationals are now banned from entering Japan until the emergency measures are lifted.

The head of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, said preparations would continue, although he conceded they were looking at banning overseas spectators.

“I think we will have to make a very difficult decision around February to March,” he said.

Public opinion is also turning against the Games with the latest poll by public broadcaster NHK showing that just 16 per cent thought the Olympics should go ahead in July, while a combined 77 per cent thought they should be cancelled or postponed.

The Games are set for July 23 to August 8.