Shigeru Omi, head of the Japanese government’s anti-coronavirus advisory board, said it is better to hold the next Olympics without an audience.
On Friday, Omi said, in a recommendation to the government and the Olympic organizing committee, that such a decision was “desirable” to reduce the risk of infection.
Omi and his group of experts fear that the infection rate will rise again, if fans are allowed to attend the tournament, which takes place from July 23 to August 8, specifically the Delta strain.
They also pointed to school holidays, when the movement of people increases and stricter restrictions will be needed if the masses attend the Olympics.
Omi said recently that it is not normal for the Olympics to take place in these difficult times.
The president of the organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, said that a decision in this regard will be taken at a meeting to be held next Monday with officials of the International Olympic Committee and the local and federal governments.
The Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, supports mass attendance of the competitions.
The state of emergency ends in Tokyo and other regions on Sunday, after which nearly ten thousand fans can attend sporting events or parties, as long as the number does not exceed 50% of the venue’s capacity.
Suga has proposed a similar rule for the Olympics, and there are reports that there are plans to put the city in a near-state of emergency during the Olympics, although most Japanese oppose holding the Olympics postponed from last year due to the pandemic.
Organizers, the International Olympic Committee and the government stressed that the Olympics will be safe thanks to strict rules, bans on foreign fans from attending, and that 80% of athletes will be vaccinated.
Hashiyamoto said that the Olympics will witness 53,000 participants, after the number was reduced from 180,000.