— Published 24 February 2021

A call behind closed doors

The Olympic movement is still awaiting the decision of the organisers of the Tokyo Games on the presence, or absence, of spectators. But in Japan, voices are starting to be heard to call for closed doors. Kaori Yamaguchi (pictured above), world judo champion in 1984, now a Tokyo 2020 executive board member, is one of them. Asked by the Mainichi Shimbun, she said the time had probably come to decide the issue in favour of an absence of spectators, at least foreign ones. “The Japanese public has experienced a succession of increases and decreases in the number of infections in recent months” she explained. “Even when the state of emergency is lifted, it will not be easy to dissipate the fears that the virus will spread again. During the Games, the athletes will be in the village, where it will be possible to control their movements and manage their possible isolation. But it will be very difficult to do the same with the foreign tourists coming for the Games”. The organisers have said over and over again over the past few months that the public attendance decision will be made in the spring. It could intervene in the coming weeks.