IOC President Bach's visit to Japan difficult, says Hashimoto

Japanese media reports have said Bach would attend a torch relay ceremony in the western city of Hiroshima on May 17, but Hashimoto said his visit had not been confirmed.

Thomas Bach

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach (on a screen) delivers an opening speech while Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee president Seiko Hashimoto listens during a five-party meeting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.   -  Getty Images

International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach's visit to Japan might be "difficult" given the expected extension of a state of emergency due to high numbers of coronavirus cases, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said.

"I suspect that coming to Japan in the midst of this very severe situation would also be an emotional burden for President Bach," she said at a news conference held on Friday.

Japanese media reports have said Bach would attend a torch relay ceremony in the western city of Hiroshima on May 17, but Hashimoto said his visit had not been confirmed.

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Tokyo 2020 organisers will keep a close eye on the coronavirus situation and make a decision on Olympic spectators in June based on that, Hashimoto also said on Friday.

Japan is set to extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and four other areas until the end of May, meaning the measures would end less than two months before the Olympics start on July 23 after being postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

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