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the coronavirus crisis

Tokyo Olympics to reportedly go forward with no foreign spectators

After being delayed a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to go forward in the summer, but foreign spectators reportedly won't be invited.

The Kyodo news agency is reporting that Japan will bar foreign spectators from attending the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics due to COVID-19 concerns, CBS News and Reuters report.

The organizing committee "has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic," the Kyodo report said, per Reuters.

Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the Tokyo Olympics committee, reportedly told reporters that welcoming spectators from around the world "to come to a full stadium" for the Olympics could cause a "great deal of trouble" unless "we are prepared to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect."

The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled to begin in July 2020, but the games were postponed until July 2021 amid the pandemic. In January, a report claimed the Japanese government had "privately concluded" the Olympics would have to be canceled, but officials denied this. Under COVID-19 rules for the games unveiled in February, "hugs, high fives or handshakes are banned," and spectators "are being asked not to sing or chant, but to only clap instead," NBC News reported.

Still, CBS News notes that polls in January found about 80 percent of respondents in Japan were in favor of the Olympics either being rescheduled again or canceled entirely.