Japan considers enforcing 50 percent cap on Olympics spectator capacity

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Japan is considering limiting spectators for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics to 50 percent of venue capacity due to risks posed by the spread of COVID-19, the Sankei newspaper reported on Sunday.

For large venues the limit for spectators could be set at 20,000, but more people may be allowed if the pandemic situation improves, the Sankei reported.

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Japan’s organizing committee will announce its decision next month and is expected to comply with domestic regulations, the newspaper said, citing sources it did not named in the government and on the committee.

An organizing committee official who answered the phone said she was not able to comment.

The Games were postponed last year due to concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus. They were rescheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8.

Sources have told Reuters that Japan has decided to stage the Games without spectators from abroad due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, but Organising Committee President Seiko Hashimoto has said that no decision has been reached.

Organizers have repeatedly spoken of their resolve to hold the Olympics this year at all costs, despite low public support.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Although the number of coronavirus cases in Japan is relatively low compared to other countries such as the United States, some areas including Tokyo are still under a state of emergency, with the country currently experiencing a third wave of the pandemic.

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