BREAKING: Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators from overseas
With most of the world still struggling to deal with the health crisis and more contagious variants of the virus spreading or yet to emerge, Japan may not have many answers for the spectator question, with medical experts saying it is unrealistic to expect full capacity crowds in the stands this summer.
Kentaro Iwata, a professor of infectious diseases at Kobe University, said the "most reasonable decision" is to hold the games without spectators, adding that "other options are not right from a medical standpoint."
"Since the Olympics are a global event, it is more important to consider the situation of infections around the world rather than just looking at the situation in Japan," Iwata said in a telephone interview.
"Having spectators is an impossibly difficult operation, so I think it is better not to do it. Especially, having visitors from overseas is a major hurdle," he said.
While over 10,000 athletes will be permitted to go to venues and a few other locations and be tested at least every four days, the same strict measures do not apply to the larger number of spectators from foreign countries.
Before the postponement, it was estimated the Olympics would draw about 7.8 million spectators and the Paralympics about 2.3 million.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic flame to pass historic landmarks in Greece: