GENEVA, April 22 – The International Olympic Committee’s President, Thomas Bach, expressed support for the Japanese government’s plan to declare a new coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo on Wednesday, but said the decision has nothing to do with the upcoming games.
Bach said the move is a proactive reaction suited for the G20, speaking at a press conference following a meeting of the IOC executive board.
“If this step were to be implemented, I believe it would be completely consistent with the extremely cautious approach adopted by the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and other Japanese authorities,” he added.
According to people familiar with the matter, the Japanese government plans to decide on a state of emergency in Tokyo and several western counties on Friday, starting at the end of this month and lasting about two to three weeks.
The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese Organizing Committee have been working to host the Tokyo Olympics this summer after a year of postponement, putting the safety of athletes and other related personnel first.
Bach expressed optimism at the press conference because the athlete’s vaccination rate is high and anti-virus measures are stipulated in the organizing committee’s coronavirus “script”, so the athletes’ village will be “very safe for everyone. The place”.
He said organizers are currently working with health experts around the world to produce the second edition of the manual, which is scheduled to be published later this month.
When asked if he thinks hosting an Olympic Games without spectators during the pandemic is an option, Bach said that the International Olympic Committee will continue to negotiate with the Tokyo Organizing Committee on this issue.
Last month, the International Olympic Committee and other Tokyo Olympics organizations agreed to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games without foreign audiences.