Two top EU officials have expressed support for holding the Tokyo Olympics despite growing opposition to the event in Japan due to the coronovirus epidemic.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel discussed the Games with Prime Minister Yoshihida Suga during a virtual EU-Japan summit.
“He told us that he is working with the authorities of his country to take all necessary precautionary measures,” Mitchell said after the talk.
Initially planned for last year, the Tokyo Olympics has been delayed by a year due to an epidemic. Opening on 23 July.
In a joint statement at the meeting, the leaders said they support the rescheduling of the Olympics as “a symbol of global unity in defeating COVID-19 in a safe and secure manner this summer.”
With only a small percentage of Japanese people now vaccinated, between 60-80% of opinion polls in the country want to cancel the Olympics, and an online petition to cancel the Games has garnered 400,000 signatures in a few weeks . There is a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and other areas of the country that may be extended after the end of May 31.
Organizers and the IOC, often citing the authority of the World Health Organization, say that the Games can be held safely with 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes entering Japan, with thousands of judges, officials, sponsors, broadcasters and Media are involved. Fans coming from overseas have already been banned, and organizers have to announce next month whether any fans will be allowed to visit Olympic venues.
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