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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

All Olympic live viewing events in Tokyo to be canceled: Gov. Koike

Some venues to serve as coronavirus vaccination centers

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike gives a speech during a ceremony to mark 100 days until the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Tokyo on May 16.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Saturday that all live public viewing events during this summer's Olympics and Paralympics in the Japanese capital will be canceled, due to the coronavirus pandemic.    

After holding talks with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the governor told reporters that some of the six venues planned to be used for the screenings will instead be used for COVID-19 vaccinations.    

The announcement was made with just about one month to go until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, with public concern about a potential spike in coronavirus cases driven by more contagious new variants remaining strong.    

The venues included Yoyogi, Inokashira and Hibiya parks in the capital, which on Saturday reported 388 new COVID-19 infections.    

The meeting between Suga and Koike, the first since May 21, came ahead of an online meeting Monday by organizers of the Olympics and Paralympics at which they will decide on a limit on spectators at the games.    

After deciding to end a COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and other parts of Japan on Thursday, Suga, speaking at a press conference, expressed his willingness to stage the games with some spectators.    

The Japanese government has said it will allow up to 10,000 people at large events in Japan, as long as they do not exceed 50 percent of venue capacity, in areas that are not under a state of emergency or a quasi-state of emergency.    

Japanese government and Olympic officials are considering applying the policy also to the Olympics, due to begin July 23, and the Paralympics.

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