Tokyo Olympics likely to go ahead without overseas fans

The Tokyo Olympics is set to be a locals only affair after reports emerged today that Japan has decided to exclude overseas spectators.

Kyodo News reported that the government had decided it was “not possible” to allow overseas fans due to the ongoing risk of spreading coronavirus. To date, around 900,000 tickets have reportedly been sold outside Japan.

“The organising committee has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the north-eastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic,” Kyodo reported.

Public support for the Summer Games has waned, with “concerns among the Japanese public over the coronavirus and the fact that more contagious variants have been detected in many countries”, according to the report.

The Tokyo area is still currently under a state of emergency following a spike in infections.

Games organisers have said they will make an announcement regarding overseas fans before the nationwide torch relay begins on March 25.