The Olympics will welcome thousands of foreign athletes, leaders, businessmen and journalists to Japan in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, despite numerous warnings from experts about a possible increase in the number of cases and repeated requests from the population to postpone again or cancel the event outright.
Yasuhiko Nishimura, the chief agent of the Imperial Palace Agency, said at a press conference that the emperor had expressed his concerns.
Nishimura said His Majesty the Emperor is deeply concerned about the current health situation regarding the coronavirus epidemic. While there are many voices against holding the Olympic Games among the population, I think so [l’empereur] It is concerned that the Olympic and Paralympic Games could facilitate the spread of the virus.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23, and the Paralympics will follow a month later.
As Nishimura asked the organizers
To take all necessary measures to combat the virus to prevent its spread during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which the Emperor will be the guest of honor.
The Emperor of Japan possesses symbolic power, not political power. However, just like his father, Naruhito is highly respected by the people and his opinion is very important to the Japanese.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato was eager to play down the Emperor’s concerns, saying that he simply expressed them
his personal opinions.
Naruhito, 61, had previously voiced his concerns about the pandemic during a speech at an academic gala on Monday:
In order to meet this challenge, it is important that we unite our hearts in Japan and abroad and work together..
Before the sports event was postponed in 2020, Naruhito was scheduled to officially announce the opening of the Olympics during the opening ceremony, but many details, especially about its existence, are still unknown, identified by representatives of the Imperial Palace.