TOKYO — The Japanese government denied on Tuesday that a US travel notice for Americans to avoid Japan would affect Olympians hoping ( Won’t Affect Olympians ) to participate in the delayed Tokyo Games.
Officials from the United States cited an increase in coronavirus cases in Japan caused by virus strains that may pose a danger to those who have been vaccinated. They didn’t exclude Americans from entering Japan, but the threats could have an effect on insurance premiums and whether or not Olympic athletes and other competitors want to participate in the Games, which begin on July 23.
The majority of Japan’s metro areas are in a state of emergency, which is scheduled to last until mid-June, due to an increase in significant COVID-19 cases that are putting strain on the country’s medical care systems. This raises concerns over how the nation will deal with the influx of tens of thousands of Olympic athletes if its hospitals are overburdened and only a small percentage of the population is vaccinated.
The United States’ notice would not ban critical travel, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, who also said that the United States’ support for Tokyo’s Olympic bid remains unchanged.
“We think the US stance endorsing the Japanese government’s commitment to accomplish the Games has not changed,” Kato said, adding that Washington has informed Tokyo that the travel alert is unrelated to the US Olympic team’s participation.
Fans from outside Japan were barred from the Tokyo Olympics months earlier, but players, their families, foreign sports authorities, and other partners also make up a large number of international visitors. In opinion polls, the Japanese population was opposed to the Games being held because of safety issues, including the fact that the majority of citizens will not be vaccinated.
“Because of the current situation in Japan, even completely vaccinated travelers could be at risk for having and transmitting COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan,” according to the US alert from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The State Department sent a more direct alert. It said, “Do not fly to Japan due to COVID-19.”