tokyo 2020 olympics

It's official: Spectators from abroad will not be allowed at Tokyo Olympics

82 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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Foreign fans banned - yet somehow the Games will be "a celebration of humanities victory over the virus"?

It will sadly be remembered as the worst Olympics ever.

33 ( +38 / -5 )

Might as well cancel the 2020 games, what a series of stupid decisions from the LDP led government of Japan.

29 ( +34 / -5 )

She looks quite happy about it.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

IOC will not but Japan will lose a lot of money.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

What a waste of tax money. Truly pointless.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

A bad decision on top of a bad decision to have the games in the 1st place.

This is going to be an economic, public safety and a PR disaster.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

This is essentially a cancellation when an event that is supposedly centered on bringing the citizens of the world together does not bring the citizens of the world together.

Financially it is a worse outcome than an outright cancellation as costs will still be incurred to organize, manage, and hold the events and the expected revenues brought by visitors from all over the world will not be realized.

Still alot of folks having a hard time financially here in Japan and a cancellation 6-9 months ago and diversion of any costs spent since that time would have been a big help to the average citizen or resident.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Would this have happened if the government had handled the pandemic with more competence? Hundreds of thousands of people on truly developed countries have already received the vaccine that seems to only be reaching the top level of society here.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

thank goodness the thousands and thousands of athletes and entourages and Meeja people and hangers-on (oops, I mean: officials) will be completely safe..... and definitely won't break quarantine or anything naughty like that....

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Well, as least it's a decision, not that hesitating stuff we usually get!

They need to start letting people in by April in preparation. So, yes, they hesitated as long as they could.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Might as well cancel the Olympics. Japanese Only spectators do not make for a true Olympics. Also, foreign and Japanese athletes will be a great possible risk due to the pandemic. Shots may not be enough for dissident strains.

The Olympics are Suga's "Go to travel" and "Go to eat" on steroids.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.

Not compared to any of its peers in Asia, nor any of it's geographic peers (island nation with a non-porous border).

13 ( +18 / -5 )

It was inevitable. Yet, confused by the ‘mood’ depicted.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Would this have happened if the government had handled the pandemic with more competence?

Probably not. Many in the US are predicting a fun, happy summer of regeneration and relief, given the quickly rising rate of vaccinations. The Japanese govt, by contrast, deliberately delayed its vaccine rollout, and the inoculation rates today are a small fraction as those in the US and other countries.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

She looks quite happy about it.

She just kept her job, salary and is still in the limelight.

Next she will flog off cheap or free tickets to hopefully fill stadiums with Japanese to boast the “success”.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Well, as least it's a decision, not that hesitating stuff we usually get!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

No crystal ball needed for this call.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

You better start at Wuhan and malicious cover-ups to explore what-if scenarios.

Not from the point over a year ago when countries outside of China learned about the pandemic. I know it’s easier to blame China instead of Japan, but there are far too many countries vaccinating their people at a very high rate to excuse Japan’s lack of preparation and competence on handling this pandemic.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The Japanese public has also opposed fans from abroad. Several surveys have shown that up to 80% oppose holding the Olympics, and a similar percentage opposed fans from overseas attending.

Using the public opinion for one thing and then disregarding it for another. If I were Japanese I’d be trying to hold them to account more.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

People running around in the midst of a pandemic?

Not really normal is it now...

10 ( +12 / -2 )

From what I understand from watching NHK this morning is that this only applies to people who bought "general" tickets available to the public at larger. Tickets given to sponsors, foreign and domestic, will still be honored. So, people working for, say, Coca Cola or Nike who are from overseas will be allowed to attend. This is clearly a performative gesture of "See how serious and careful we are." I feel sorry for the people who paid for tickets.

Being from Atlanta and in college at the time of the Atlanta Olympics, I have been telling folks that no good thing comes from hosting the Olympics.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Think of all of the money lost from airlines, hotels, etc. She does have a smirk on her face.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

If I were superstitious I would say that these games are definitely jinxed. Besides all the snafus like Mori and Sasaki, nature, aka Covid and earthquakes are giving us all the signs to back off. Unfortunately men are idiots and will ignore all the telltale signs. I'm also not a betting man, but if I were, I sure wouldn't bet on this hand.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It is working with other nations to try to get athletes and trainers vaccinated prior to the event. If any countries do not believe this is enough

Nobody cares about the athletes well-being, but instead about the well-being of the local, non-vaccinated population, which will be essentially still 100% of people in July.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

"Overall, Japan is officially spending $15.4 billion to organize the Olympics. Several government audits say the actual cost may be twice that much. All but $6.7 billion is public money, and a University of Oxford study says these are the most expensive Olympics on record." There needs to be a full and public accounting of how these taxpayer funds were spent...and someday pigs will fly.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I hope the Japanese government will take steps to remind the public that people of all appearances live in Japan permanently and may have tickets.

Hopefully we will not see unsavory incidents of non-East-Asian looking people being asked "what are you doing here?" and told "you are not allowed" etc.

The ban itself is also strange.

Banning all foreign supporters means vaccinated spectators from are kept out while unvaccinated locals and unvaccinated athletes and officials are allowed to attend.

To be honest, I can see that it would be hard to allow only vaccinated spectators as there would not be much time to design, test and introduce any "vaccine passport measures"., and people desperate to come might try to cheat whatever system was put in place.

But the decision, despite the blanket supporter ban, to simply allow the unchecked attendance of thousands of unvaccinated members of the Japanese public, unvaccinated athletes and unvaccinated officials is absolutely mind-boggling.

Of course, checking who is and isn't vaccinated is the same problem I just stated.

That is why the only logical solution really was to cancel.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

BurakuminDesToday  07:19 am JST

Foreign fans banned - yet somehow the Games will be "a celebration of humanities victory over the virus"?

It will sadly be remembered as the worst Olympics ever.

Another possible contender for the worst Olympics would have been the 1940 Olympics in, wait for it, Tokyo of all places.

Luckily that particular absurdity was sensibly cancelled.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Countries overseas should announce that they will not send their athletes to participate if the situation is so serious that their families and supporters cannot attend.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It s criminal madness to still not cancel the torch relay and postpone the games to 2022.

bringing in 70.000 athletes and others will make these Games the most shameful display of greed and selfishness. I also call out the athletes who still want to come as selfish and irresponsible. Don’t give me the” they work so hard thing”. We all do and the Olympics are not that important for most athletes careers. Not any more. The silence of the sponsors is also shameful.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

has controlled the virus better than most countries

Wow! Do people actually believe this? There are still 10,000 new cases every week nationally with the SOE in place. That doesn’t seem very ‘controlled’ to me.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Strange, only the women connected to this event are depicted, all ‘fake’ smiling. They look like ventriloquist ‘characters’. Like Suga, they are also positioned to ‘take the fall’.

And, there is Koike (in the supplemental photos) slightly smirking, as ‘the cat that ate the canary’.

Finally, there is ‘the puppet-master” Bach in the background. Later, this Svengali will slowly slither away, all the richer.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I've read stories of some people in the US having trouble getting full refunds on their Olympic tickets due to using certain ticketing agencies. Is the IOC/JOC going g to help these people get their money back now that they have decided spectators from abroad are barred from coming?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This show of blind stubborn pride will only leave these Olympics to be the worst in history. With 80%of the population being against it I can conclude this is not a democracy but more like soft fascism.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My bet is the government will create a program to invite foreigners living in Japan to attend the Games. They will pay for transportation and lodging. lol

All to create an image of normality.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sponsors can buy their way in but general public has no chance. Covid has brought out the worst in humans

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Expected reaction: “We are all safe now!”

But athletes will still be excepted from quarantine procedures?

Sakoku 鎖国 2.0, the dream of many.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not to worry! @BlackFlagCitizen 9:03a.

From an earlier article:“John Coates, the IOC who oversees Tokyo preparations, said ticket refunds were a given." - From Mar. 12 “IOC members worry about banning overseas fans from Olympics” -

So, let’s ALL remember this guy later, when the real ‘backpedaling’ and blaming begins:  “John Coates, the IOC who oversees Tokyo preparations, said ticket refunds were a “given." Oh! Btw: there’s a ‘caveat’ amended to his ‘quote’- “****if needed”.

It could mean: “your continued ‘donation’ to the IOC graciously accepted and appreciated.” (May be ‘tax deductible’ as a donation, or ‘a loss’; consult Your accountant)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

no free working staffs

no foreign Athletes

no foreign fans

no good olympics

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No, Japan hasn't controlled the virus better than most other countries. Vaccine rollout is depressingly slow, testing is still laughably inaccessible, and even the dubious available data is worse than that of most countries in the region. Numbers of new infections are not dropping (which is unlikely to change), creating potential for an epidemic to drag on long after the actual pandemic is over. Japan might end up being one of the last countries considered safe to travel from to other countries.

Anyway, holding an international event with no international spectators (except cooperative media and sponsors, of course). Things couldn't be better for Japanese PR! Let's make everyone within our borders feel good about how great our nation is without having to interact with any of our admirers from outside.

@jpn_guy

Good point about the vaccinations. I'm not sure Japan has a vaccine passport system (not that interested since I'm not getting inoculated any time soon), but I figure demanding it from Japanese and non-Japanese alike would be logistically difficult.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Olympics games as apolitical and world uniting movement is over what remained is only vanity fair and big companies advertising venue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ah right, yes. Why wouldn't nations be attending that event?

Hmm, I wonder why? Will you hop on the first available flight to China?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Where is the outrage on that? 20% for what should essentially be a simple electronic transaction?! What century are we in?

The century in which transaction fees make more profit than the actual transaction.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

re spectators for the 2022 Olympics in China.

I guess they will be allowed in if they have taken the Chinese vaccines otherwise it will be the 3 week quarantine and anal virus test. I don't see a lot of visitors with the no Chinese vaccine or non approved ( in China) vaccines wishing to go through that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

From what I understand from watching NHK this morning is that this only applies to people who bought "general" tickets available to the public at large. 

Yes, we should be wary about who they are talking about when they say "kankyaku" or whatever phrase they are using.

While I think this is a sensible move, I must say I find the prospect of the border being closed for many months to come rather depressing. I only ever go to see family these days, and that is only occasionally, but travel is certainly something that has enriched my life so far. The fall in international tourism in 2020 barely made a dent in carbon emissions, so it doesn't appear to be the right focus for climate action either.

Going forward, the "600,000 tickets sold" should be remembered the next time some idiot suggests the Olympics is a shoo-in for getting a huge rise in tourism. That's probably under 200,000 visitors. In 2019 Japan was getting 3,000,000 visitors every month without an Olympics.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This would be the biggest spreader of all time, even with just the athletes

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sorry @pukey2 10:32a, But, no one gets medals; only ‘participation certificates’ should be given out. It’s NOT a ‘level playing field’ if ALL the world’s best cannot be there.

According to the IOC’s same “Fundamental Principles of Olympism” - ‘*The goal of Olympism is the service of the harmonious development of humankind, promoting a peaceful society with the preservation of human dignity. The Olympic Movement reaches its peak with the bringing together of the world's athletes at the great sports festival, the Olympic Games.*”

Not just a small percentage of ‘the world’s athletes’. - Cancel this ridiculous show!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are no Olympics scheduled for 2022 fella, so no countries or fans will be participating.

Winter Olympics?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

People just don’t go or watch the olympics on tv and the IOC and other Business that are hoping for the Olympics to happen will all get the felling of how the people of Japan and Hotels & Restaurant owners will feel

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To be fair, which is the spirit of the Olympics, no spectators outside coach should be allowed even for Japanese. Otherwise totally biased.

Adrenalin not the same in face of a crowd knowing there are some of your supporters.

At least for some sports, foreign athletes will be totally disavantaged compare to Japanese.

Not Olympics for me, even if I know Japanese spectators can behave far better than average.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These dealers charge fees of up to 20% above the ticket price. 

Where is the outrage on that? 20% for what should essentially be a simple electronic transaction?! What century are we in?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The last thing we need is for the main event at this years Olympics to be the "Superspreader" but it's still a very real possibility even with the new restrictions. I wish it could be postponed one more year.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One of the best Q&A’s of the day: @Laguna 10:52 and @P.Smith 1pm:

Where is the outrage on that? 20% for what should essentially be a simple electronic transaction?! What century are we in?

*The century in which transaction fees make more profit than the actual transaction.

Thanks for that ‘respite of levity’ amongst the continuous waves of outrage as we all near, the inevitable, sad end to this tragic opera.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many world records and personal bests are achieved and broken at the olympics, the crowd drives sports men and woman on to go up and beyond, sadly I can not see as many, or any world reckords being broken as there will be no one in the stadiums. I still cant understand, If someone has has two injections and they test negative for covid, why cant they enter the games? have the organisers opted for a easy way out, just ban everyone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sooooo, those 600K tickets will now be up for resale for those of us in Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

400,000 came for the Rugby world cup the Olympics would have been lucky to get a third of that number.

Cancelling now or anytime last year wouldn't save a large amount of cash. It's already spent and accounted for. The choice is waste a fortune and have some sort of reduced games or just waste a fortune. They have opted for option 1.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Excellent news.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

and definitely won't break quarantine or anything naughty like that....

I think the plan, already mentioned involves no quarantine for those athletes, officials and guest coming for the Olympics. And I am sure they will be spared the need to download the 3 apps, hire phones, if they don’t have Japanese mobiles, not use public transport and so on. There is also the issue of the new caps on arrivals at Japanese airports that will have to be changed. Of course they could all get the free Chinese vaccine that China has promised to provide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No foreign spectators. Excellent. Keep whittling away. Digital media companies and the like will turn a profit as the 'games' are only available abroad on media platforms. This will be a dismal event reflecting the impacts of a pandemic. Professional athletics are in full swing in the wealthier countries & corporate sponsored athletes are being provided with full training and provide further, unfair advantages. Hopefully, the vaccines do not have an adverse reaction with performance enhancing drugs or the final in the 100 meters and other premier events will be minus its marquee athletes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The timing of yesterdays earthquake right at the start of this meeting is so so so SO ironic!

Clearly now that foreign fans are banned, there is one more decision that needs made & SOON!!

Come on bach YOU KNOW what I am referring to!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wonder if this means family members of the athletes can’t even come? Or will their be a quota?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No it won't, the one happening the following year will be. That one will have few countries participating and fans welcome but afraid to go.

There are no Olympics scheduled for 2022 fella, so no countries or fans will be participating.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

ClippetyClopToday  11:41 am JST

There are no Olympics scheduled for 2022 fella, so no countries or fans will be participating.

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 mayhaps?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Those who would otherwise have come have had a narrow escape. This is no time to be travelling overseas en masse.

The Olympics are meaningless in the grand scheme of things and as I have mentioned before, they shan't be getting a single second of airtime in my home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think its sad for the foreign athletes that were hoping to compete in front of family and friends, but at the same time, they shouldn't be complaining because they're lucky enough that the games are even still happening. Tax payers are spending billions just so the athletes dreams aren't erased. If I hear about athletes complaining, its just plain selfishness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's the point of having the games if fans from abroad won't be able to go, whilst the athletes will? Definitely the worst and most expensive Olympics in history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As it is, people in Tokyo are going to pay more in taxes. Ticket prices will be cut to get spectators in the seats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The most boring Olympics ever. How embarrassing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good decision.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

It will sadly be remembered as the worst Olympics ever.

No it won't, the one happening the following year will be. That one will have few countries participating and fans welcome but afraid to go.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Hmm, I wonder why?

Either you don't know or you aren't willing to say. I wonder which?

Will you hop on the first available flight to China?

Is the success of the event dependant on me doing that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I still cant understand, If someone has has two injections and they test negative for covid, why cant they enter the games? have the organisers opted for a easy way out, just ban everyone?

As we have seen, people have faked the tests in their own country and come to Japan with all different variants of the virus. Even if they get tested again in Japan, they could have already spread the virus to others on the plane or in the airport, and can easily escape their quarantine. Japan already doesn't allow tourists, so allowing them in huge numbers for the Olympics was never realistic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It was the sensible thing to do.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Understandable, best of luck for the players, let's get it over with and move on.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@BlackFlagCitizen

I've read stories of some people in the US having trouble getting full refunds on their Olympic tickets due to using certain ticketing agencies. Is the IOC/JOC going g to help these people get their money back now that they have decided spectators from abroad are barred from coming?

Japan is refunding it's part of the ticket price. It's the overseas ticket vendor's commissions that are in question. Why should Japanese taxpayers have to foot the bill for that too?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 mayhaps?

Ah right, yes. Why wouldn't nations be attending that event?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

See. Japan don't care about the foreign money but safety.

The Olympics will be One of the Nostalgic Event in the history. It will be like in the 50s/60s and the fans and familg will have fun watching on T.V together. Good old days back again.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japan is showing their True Colors again since the ancient times.

Drama Queen Alert activated !!..

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.

Not compared to any of its peers in Asia, nor any of it's geographic peers (island nation with a non-porous border).

What part of "comparef

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Would this have happened if the government had handled the pandemic with more competence? Hundreds of thousands of people on truly developed countries have already received the vaccine that seems to only be reaching the top level of society here.

You better start at Wuhan and malicious cover-ups to explore what-if scenarios.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

"Tickets given to sponsors, foreign and domestic, will still be honored. So, people working for, say, Coca Cola or Nike who are from"

but 99% of those tickets are in Japanese hands and the border is still closed,

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

"better than most countries" don't you understand? Who gives a rat's behind if a handful of smaller countries and island states in Asia have fewer deaths? Overall Japan has held up pretty well.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I understand that Japan wants to proceed with the Olympics because it has put a lot of time, effort and money into preparing for the event. The athletes have spent years training for this event. Its organizers are being wise by barring spectators from outside its own country. It is working with other nations to try to get athletes and trainers vaccinated prior to the event. If any countries do not believe this is enough, they are free to skip the event. If new infections begin to surge before July, the event can still be cancelled.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

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