Japan expecting final safety approval from international Olympic chief

President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach is expected to visit in May.

Olympic rings.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is set to visit Japan for the Olympic torch relay ceremony on May 17 and will thereafter meet with Japanese authorities. Photo: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, April 19 (ANA) – The Tokyo Olympic committee is expecting final Covid-19 safety measures approval when president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach visits in May.

Kyodo news agency reported on Saturday that Bach will be in Japan for the Olympic torch relay ceremony on May 17 and will thereafter meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga before giving his approval.

“It will be Bach’s first visit to Japan since last November… Bach is also expected to hold talks with Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto as well as Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike,” read the release on Kyodo news.

While Japan has been struggling with the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, The Guardian reported that Bach is expected to back Japan’s commitment to safely hosting the summer Games.

With less than 100 days to go before the opening, Japanese officials have admitted that hosting the Games will be challenging due to the rising infection rate and the Games set to open on July 23.

“We are aware of president Bach’s intention to come to Japan and would welcome such a visit,” the Tokyo Olympic organising committee said in a statement.

“However, nothing concrete has been decided,” it said.

The torch relay has also faced its hurdles after two areas cancelled their torch relay section for the public due to a surge in cases. Japan’s western region of Osaka was the first to cancel its event in early April, followed by the city of Matsuyama.

Meanwhile, countries such as India and Brazil have also seen a resurgence in Covid-19 cases with new variants of the virus.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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