IOC president Bach to visit Japan from July 12

Thomas Bach will visit Japan from July 12, ahead of the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Thomas Bach at a visit to the National Stadium in Tokyo, in November, 2020. - AP

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will visit Japan from July 12, ahead of the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 23, broadcaster TV Asahi reported on Thursday.

Plans for Bach to visit Japan in May were postponed because of a government-issued state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus infections.

IOC senior official John Coates will be visiting Japan from June 15 to finalise Olympic preparations on site, broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday, citing a statement by Coates.

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The IOC kicked off a three-day meeting with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee and other organisers on Wednesday. During his opening remarks, Bach reiterated his commitment to hold the Games this summer, saying organisers were “fully focused on the delivery of the Olympic Games.”

However, the event - which was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic - faces mounting opposition from the Japanese public over fears it could trigger coronavirus outbreaks and burden medical services amid a slow vaccine roll-out. Although foreign spectators are barred from watching the Games in Japan, organisers have not confirmed whether domestic spectators will be allowed into venues, saying that a decision will be made in June.

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