Tokyo 2020 Olympics venue capacity to be set at 10,000

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, center, flanked by Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe, right, delivers a speech as she attends the fourth roundtable meeting with medical experts to discuss on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) countermeasures, in Tokyo, Japan Friday, June 18, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Tokyo: The government, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee and other relevant bodies entered the final phase of talks to set the maximum number of spectators at each event at 10,000, government sources said Thursday.

The proposal is expected to be agreed upon at a five-party discussion slated for Monday that the Tokyo metropolitan government, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are set to join.

Under the government policy, the maximum fan capacity at a large event is to be increased from 5,000 to 10,000 once the government lifts the state of emergency or the emergency-level priority measures in place.

The priority measures for Tokyo and six prefectures are set to continue through July 11. The government has decided that, if the measures are lifted as scheduled, the 10,000-maximum- spectator rule can be applied to the Tokyo Olympic Games, scheduled to kick off on July 23.

Admission of sponsors and other concerned parties is expected to be allowed without counting toward the limit.

The government, the organizing committee and other authorities involved have indicated that they are ready to compromise on the maximum number of spectators in accordance with regulations on domestic sports events such as professional baseball games.

“[At the five-party meeting], we are going to make a decision similar to what is now being done [regarding restrictions on events] domestically,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a Thursday evening press conference.

Some have suggested that the maximum number be reduced to 5,000 if no improvement is seen in the situation regarding the spread of the virus and the priority measures remain in place to curb infections, and that there should be no fans allowed if another state of emergency is declared.

The tickets allocated to children and students by local governments are also expected to not count toward the maximum number of spectators.

According to the organizing committee, the number of tickets that applicants wanted to purchase was at about 600,000 for the Olympics and about 680,000 for the Paralympics, as of January 2020.