Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Toshiro Muto, CEO of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, listens to questions from the media during a press conference in Tokyo on June 11, 2019.

The Associated Press

Tokyo Olympics officials are proposing that the government relax immigration regulations to allow athletes to enter the country before next year’s postponed games and train during a 14-day quarantine period, Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee, said on Wednesday.

“We have to consider the uniqueness of the athletes and also their activities,” Muto said, speaking in Japanese after a meeting of a task force considering countermeasures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee, Tokyo city and national government officials and members of the organizing committee are holding virtual meetings on Thursday and Friday focused on finding ways to hold the delayed Olympics during a pandemic.

Story continues below advertisement

The organizing committee and the IOC have said for months they are considering many scenarios for how the games can open on July 23, 2021, but have offered nothing specific.

IOC president Thomas Bach, who will address the online meetings on Thursday, has said a vaccine and rapid testing would help, but added there is no “silver bullet” that will allow the Olympics to automatically happen.

Bach and new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga spoke for 15 minutes on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said. They talked about pulling off the games, and Bach said he hoped to soon visit Japan.

Muto summed up dealing with so many disparate and often competing interests representing 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, officials, coaches, sponsors – not to mention the question of Japanese and foreign fans.

“How we are going to decide is something we have to decide,” Muto said. “But we haven’t discussed by when we have to decide.”

Muto said a report would be forthcoming in December, after talks with the IOC, national Olympic committees, sports federations and myriad other parties including broadcasters, athletes, sponsors and medical officials.

He acknowledged that athletes might have to use public transportation in Japan, suggesting a complete “bubble” would be impossible.

Story continues below advertisement

And he raised the issue of how the pandemic is at very different stages in many countries – as is testing. Athletes would be expected to be tested before they leave home, and then be tested again in Japan.

“Depending on the country, the reliability of the testing is still an issue,” he said. “The accuracy of the tests may not be uniform.”

Left unsaid so far is an official estimate of what the one-year delay will cost. Most estimates suggest several billion dollars, most of which falls to Japanese taxpayers.

The two-day meetings come the same week that the Japanese media reported again on the bribery scandal tied to the Tokyo Olympics. It forced the resignation last year of Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda.

The University of Oxford also released a study last week saying that Tokyo is the most expensive Summer Olympics on record.

Japan has recorded about 1,500 deaths from COVID-19, much lower per capita than the United States, Brazil, or India.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies