Tokyo, here we come!

A dog is pictured on the Olympic Rings displayed at the Japan Sport Olympic Square beside the new National Stadium, still under construction, in Tokyo on July 24, 2019, one year before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Preparations for the Tokyo Olympics 2021 are in full swing with the Olympic torch relay set to begin on March 25. The Olympic Games, which had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic, will be held between July 23 and August 8 this year.

Over 10,000 athletes are expected to gather for the games, but most likely there will not be any foreign spectators (fans) in the audience. A recent poll (count) in Japan found that 77% of the Japanese people interviewed did not want to allow the entry of foreigners to watch the Olympics. People are worried that visitors will bring in new mutations of the coronavirus (see page 2) with them. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said a final decision on this will be taken soon.

Japan has seen more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases in the past year. While the numbers are far lower than that of many nations, Japan’s coronavirus vaccination programme has moved very slowly so far. Those above 65 years of age make up a third of Japan’s population, and as the pandemic affects old people a lot more, the Japanese is worried.

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