Ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said on Tuesday that he saw no direct impact on the Olympics from the recent U.S. travel advisory, but added that there were important realistic issues that remained to be resolved.
The U.S. State Department’s "Do Not Travel" advisory and guidance for Japan on Monday did not mention the Olympics specifically, but warned against visiting the country now.
"We don’t expect any impact at the moment," Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa also said Tuesday. She noted the advisory did not ban essential travel and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee had said that planned mitigation practices would allow for safe participation of Team USA athletes.
Meanwhile, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, also sought to reassure Japan of the safety measures that would ensure a smooth Olympic Games.
Top Japanese and Olympic officials have pledged the Games will go ahead as planned on July 23 after being postponed in 2020, even as surveys show a majority of Japan residents want the Games cancelled or postponed due to worries over COVID-19.
The country, which has recorded 715,940 infections and 12,308 deaths from the virus, has delivered vaccinations to just under 5 per cent of its population, the slowest among the world’s larger, wealthier countries.
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