Japanese Emperor Naruhito is “extremely worried” about the Tokyo Olympics and the potential spread of COVID-19 it may cause.
Grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency Yasuhiko Nishimura revealed the Emperor’s fears during a press conference on Thursday, 24 June as the opening ceremonies are now less than a month away.
“His majesty is extremely worried about the current situation of the COVID-19 infections,” Nishimura said, according to the Associated Press. “While there are voices of unease among the public, I believe (the emperor) is concerned that holding the Olympics and Paralympics … may lead to the expansion of the infections.”
With the Olympics coming to Tokyo on July 23, thousands of athletes, officials and journalists from around the world will be traveling into Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently lifted the state of emergency in Tokyo, which had been in place since late April.
But, according to the AP, health officials have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases since the state of emergency was lifted and fear the number of cases could rise even higher in the weeks leading up to the Olympics.
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