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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo 2020 ticket refund applications in Japan to start Nov. 10

Holders overseas can also get money back 'in principle' but guidelines vary

Ticket refunds for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be available but terms may differ in Japan and overseas. (Source photos by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee will accept refund applications for tickets purchased in Japan beginning on Nov. 10, officials said Friday.

"The tickets that have already been purchased will be valid for the same session on the new date. For those unable to attend the session on the new date, we will provide a refund for the tickets," said Hidenori Suzuki, Tokyo 2020's marketing director.

The postponed Games will open on July 23, 2021, with all events pushed back by one day.

The Tokyo organizing committee has sold 4.48 million tickets for the Olympics in Japan alone, out of the 6.8 million available worldwide. For the Paralympics, 970,000 tickets have been sold. Olympic tickets originally came with a no-refund policy, causing uncertainty for spectators as the coronavirus led to the Games being postponed and stringent entry restrictions for foreigners into Japan.

Refunds for tickets bought outside Japan will be subject to guidelines set by the respective country's authorized ticket sellers.

"In principle, they should be able to receive a refund," Suzuki told reporters. "Depending on the country, the application period is different."

Ticket holders in Japan can apply for Olympics refunds from Nov. 10 until Nov. 30. The Paralympics refund application period begins on Dec. 1 and lasts through Dec. 21.

Refunds will be issued from late December for Olympics' tickets and from mid-January next year for the Paralympics. Ticket holders who paid in cash at convenience stores will have to provide an account under their name at a Japanese financial institution.

The official ticket refund application website will not work overseas, Suzuki said.

Overseas ticket sales comprised 10% to 20% of total ticket sales at previous Olympics. While Friday's announcement provides clarity for domestic spectators, foreign ticket holders are still in the dark about whether they will even be able to enter Japan.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga asked his government to plan to take in foreign arrivals for the Games, but under strict restrictions on movement within Japan, Nikkei reported last week.

A final plan for COVID-19 countermeasures during the Games will not be decided until Tokyo 2020 officials meet in November. As Tokyo 2020 requires $800 million in ticket sales for its operating budget, the final cost of postponement will not be determined until year's end.

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