Japanese Towns Cancel Plans to Host Olympic Athletes

Japanese towns have abandoned plans to host Olympic athletes as there will overburden stretched medical resources amid the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

The Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday 40 of more than 500 Japanese towns registered to welcome international competitors had decided not to accept athletes for training camps and cultural exchanges before the global sporting showpiece.

Chiba Governor Toshihito Kumagai said they cannot assure hospital beds for athletes as they should not be given preferential treatment.

“Chiba prefecture is not thinking about securing scarce hospital beds… for athletes and people involved in the Olympic Games in a way that would prohibit our residents from using them,” Kumagai told reporters.

Shiro Hasegawa, an official in Okuizumo town meanwhile said it was impossible to have exchange activities.

“There’s limited time and cost issues and it is impossible to have exchange activities between residents and athletes,” he told Reuters.

The Yomiuri newspaper also said that overseas athletes will also not participate in a test event for the Olympics BMX freestyle cycling.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed last year and are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 despite a surge in infections and a state of emergency in the host city.

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