Organisers of the post-ponned Tokyo Olympics 2020 have ruled out the presence of International spectators at the games that are slated to start July 23, 2021.
International media outlets say that the move was expected due to strong opposition across the Japanese public to the entry of international visitors for the games during the pandemic.
Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.
The decision is likely to adversely affect agents who had sold more than a million tickets already to international spectators, above the regular ticket fee.
Organisers say they will refund the money for tickets.
“We could wait until the very last moment to decide, except for the spectators,” said Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee.
“They have to secure accommodations and flights. So we have to decide early otherwise we will cause a lot of inconvenience from them. I know this is a very tough issue.”