Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s government on Thursday announced a new virus state of emergency that will run throughout the Olympics, as organisers and officials met for a “very difficult decision” on whether to allow local spectators.

Organisers have said that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed at the Tokyo Olympic events, as they warned that the competition could move behind closed doors if infections surge.

The Tokyo Olympics chief said the Games would only be cancelled in extreme circumstances on Thursday as organisers revealed 10,000 volunteers had quit over coronavirus fears, a sexism row and scheduling problems.

Japan’s government is expected to widen a virus state of emergency Friday, just 10 weeks before the Tokyo Olympics, as campaigners submitted a petition with more than 350,000 signatures urging the Games be scrapped.

This summer’s virus-postponed Olympics could be held behind closed doors, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto told AFP on Friday, pledging to ensure the Games will be safe.

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