Jun 19, 2021 - World

Olympic public viewing sites in Tokyo canceled, governor says

Picture of group of people protesting against the Olympics in Tokyo, with one sign that reads "Cancel the Tokyo Olympics"
Photo: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday said that all public viewing during this summer's Olympics will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan Times reports.

The state of play: After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Koike told reporters that the locations where viewings were scheduled will instead be used as vaccination sites.

What he's saying: "I believe these are necessary measures, when looking from various perspectives, for a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games," Koike said, per Reuters.

The big picture: The announcement comes as the Japanese government faces heavy criticism from the public for hosting the games, as Japan has struggled to get its coronavirus cases under control.

  • Japanese health experts on Friday said that spectators should not be allowed, adding that it is the safest way to host the Olympics, the Japan Times notes.
  • Tokyo Olympics organizers said in March that spectators from overseas would not be permitted to attend.

What to watch: Koike and Suga will meet with International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee on Monday to discuss how many fans will be allowed to attend, Reuters reports.

Go deeper