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Heavily Criticized Tokyo Olympics Now Barring Spectators

The following article, Heavily Criticized Tokyo Olympics Now Barring Spectators, was first published on Flag And Cross.

At a time in which the world is attempting to break free from the COVID-19 pandemic and celebrate that newfound freedom, Japan is dealing with enough setbacks to dishearten us all.

The world will come together in Tokyo this summer for the Olympic Games.  Well, at least our athletes will.  We’ll be relegated to the television feed on account of Japan’s still-raging coronavirus crisis.

Fans were barred from the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics that will open in two weeks, following a state of emergency issued on Thursday.

The ban was announced by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers, reducing the games to a made-for-TV event.

Although widely expected, the move marked a sharp turnabout from just weeks earlier, when Olympic organizers said they aimed to hold the games with limited spectators.

A bland statement accompanied the decision.

“It is regrettable that we are delivering the games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections,” Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said Thursday after talks between government officials, Tokyo organizers and Olympic and Paralympic representatives. “I am sorry to those who purchased tickets and everyone in local areas.”

“Many people were looking forward to watching the games at the venues, but I would like everyone to fully enjoy watching the games on TV at home,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said after the meeting.

There has been widespread criticism over Japan’s handling of the games, with many characterizing the spectacle as reckless and selfish on behalf of the organizers.

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