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Plans for six Tokyo sites to livestream Olympics scrapped

The sites will instead be offered as vaccination centres

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, inspects a vaccination centre at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, inspects a vaccination centre at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office.
Image: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/PA

PLANS TO HAVE big screens showing the Olympics at six sites in Tokyo have been cancelled as worries grow about the coronavirus pandemic amid one of the slowest vaccine rollouts in the developed world.

“These are necessary measures to make the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics a success,” Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike told reporters after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Sites including Inokashira and Yoyogi parks as well as a university in Tokyo had planned to livestream the games which open on 23 July.

Koike said the sites will instead be offered as vaccination centres. Suga expressed understanding, she added.

Some medical experts have expressed concern about holding the games, with tens of thousands of athletes, officials and dignitaries entering the country.

Fans from abroad were banned several months ago and organisers are expected to announce on Monday whether some local fans will be allowed.

The recommendation from advisers headed by Dr Shigeru Omi, handed to the government and Tokyo organisers yesterday, said having no fans would be safer.

Only about 6% of people in Japan are fully vaccinated.

Companies, like car maker Toyota and technology conglomerate SoftBank, start inoculating workers and their families with the Moderna vaccine in a massive drive starting on Monday.

Japan relies totally on imports and the only other vaccine in use is Pfizer. Various public opinion polls show most Japanese are opposed to holding the games.

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