Olympic hosts Japan want to further reduce the number of people from overseas for the upcoming Tokyo Games, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.
Suga said in parliament that the number of officials, other staff and journalists from outside Japan will be further reduced for the July 23 to August 8 games owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The initial figure of 180,000 accredited people has already been more than halved, and foreign fans are not allowed into Japan.
Suga also reaffirmed that Japan remains committed to stage the Games which have been postponed by one year over the global health crisis.
“I want to send a message from Japan that the world has faced the difficulties that the coronavirus brought with it and has overcome them through unity,” Suga said.
He also pledged that all residents who wanted to be vaccinated would get the jab by November.
The slow start of the vaccination programme, a rising number of infections and the extension of a state of emergency in Tokyo until at least June 20, have all contributed to calls to cancel the Games or postpone it.
According to surveys at least 60 per cent of Japanese don’t want the Olympics and Paralympics to take place this year.
But the government, local organisers, and the International Olympic Committee are moving ahead and determined to stage safe and secure Games.
Critics also say that Suga hopes the Games will be successful to boost his chances in the general eletions set for autumn.