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The Japanese government has said fans from abroad will not be allowed to attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo this Summer, according to Kyodo news agency.

The government said hosting fans from overseas would not be possible due to public concern over Covid-19 and the detection of variants in other countries.

The rescheduled Games are set to take place from 23 July – 8 August 8, followed by the Paralympics from 24 August 24 – 5 September.

The opening ceremony is to be held behind closed doors.

Kyodo reported, ”The organising committee has decided it is essential to hold the ceremony in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima behind closed doors, only permitting participants and invitees to take part in the event, to avoid large crowds forming amid the pandemic.”

The news comes after Japanese newspaper Yomiuri conducted a poll that showed 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend.

IOC president Thomas Bach recently said he wants as many athletes as possible vaccinated ahead of the Games.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of Tokyo 2020 had said she wanted a decision on whether to let in overseas spectators before the start of the torch relay on March 25.

“We would really like people from around the world to come to a full stadium, but unless we are prepared to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it will cause a great deal of trouble also to visitors from overseas,” Hashimoto told reporters last week.