Japan Olympic chief says ‘no method’ to make sure zero virus instances

Yasuhiro Yamashita

Yasuhiro Yamashita

Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, speaks throughout a press convention on the Overseas Correspondents’ Membership of Japan in Tokyo on June 28, 2021. (Photograph by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Japan’s Olympic chief mentioned Monday there was “no method” to make sure zero virus instances amongst groups arriving for the Tokyo Video games, as officers put together to tighten screening procedures.

Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita mentioned “thorough measures” can be crucial at airports, after two members of Uganda’s crew examined constructive final week following their arrival in Japan.

“It doesn’t matter what measures are put in place, there is no such thing as a method we can have zero constructive instances arriving,” Yamashita instructed reporters.

“Even in the event you’ve had two vaccine doses, it doesn’t assure each particular person will likely be unfavourable.”

On Sunday, a Video games official had mentioned groups needs to be instantly remoted in the event that they arrive in Japan with an contaminated crew member.

“With the intention to ensure that no clusters come up, we have to have thorough measures on the border on the time of entry to Japan,” Yamashita mentioned, including that day by day virus testing would additionally assist cut back the chance of infections spreading.

However he hoped athletes would have “constructive recollections” of the Video games, regardless of “extreme restrictions” that imply they will’t even depart the Olympic Village to purchase souvenirs.

Yamashita, a former Olympic judo gold-medallist, mentioned he sympathized with the athletes, who will likely be confined to the Village when they don’t seem to be coaching or competing.

“How can worldwide athletes have a while to chill out and create some constructive recollections?”

“In fact, the highest precedence is to make it secure and safe, however I feel we have to make an effort to offer athletes that sort of area,” Yamashita mentioned.

A number of high-profile athletes have already mentioned they won’t compete in Tokyo, with tennis star Serena Williams the newest to drop out on Sunday.

Williams didn’t give a cause for her withdrawal, however a ban on relations on the Olympics would have separated her from her daughter.

Athletes should signal a written pledge promising to abide by antivirus guidelines in Tokyo, together with staying away from vacationer areas, outlets and bars, limiting contact with different folks, and never utilizing public transport.

Yamashita, who gained gold on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics however missed the 1980 Moscow Video games as a result of Japan boycotted the occasion, mentioned athletes would discover it “tough” to spend so lengthy cooped up inside.

“I feel the athletes will likely be spending their time right here in Japan in extraordinarily restricted situations,” he mentioned.

“I feel that is one thing that we have to perceive, and never consider the athletes as being strong-willed or egocentric.”

Yamashita lamented the truth that virus restrictions and a ban on abroad followers coming to Japan means the Tokyo Video games is not going to be the cultural change he was wanting ahead to.

However he nonetheless thinks the occasion can depart a significant legacy.

“There was a sense that the Olympics had been turning into large and indulgent,” he mentioned.

“I imagine we’ve been given a possibility to rethink what the Olympics are about. I feel that’s the place the Tokyo Video games might be vital.”


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