Biden govt stands by Tokyo Games

·2-min read

The Biden administration has reaffirmed its support for Tokyo's plan to hold the Olympic Games this summer.

They also support US athletes competing there despite a new wave of coronavirus cases and a "Do Not Travel" US travel advisory for Japan.

"Our position has not changed on the Olympics," a senior administration official said on condition of anonymity.

The official said they understood the careful considerations Japan and the International Olympic Committee were weighing as they prepared for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

"The government of Japan has stressed that public health remains the central priority as they plan to host the Games."

The White House issued a statement in April during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga saying that President Joe Biden supported Tokyo's efforts to hold a safe Olympics.

On Tuesday, a US State Department spokesperson said Biden supports "the US athletes who have trained for these Games and will be competing in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit".

The State Department on Monday issued a "Do Not Travel" advisory for Japan as a fourth wave of coronavirus infections threatens efforts to hold the games, which are slated to start on July 23.

The US advisory and guidance for Japan did not mention plans for the Olympics but warned against visiting the country now. Japanese officials said they did not anticipate any effect on the Games from the travel advisory.

Japan, which has recorded more than 700,000 infections and 12,000 deaths from the virus, has delivered vaccinations to just under five per cent of its population. That is the slowest rate among the world's larger, rich countries.

"There are very limited categories of US travellers going to Japan for the Games," the State Department spokesperson said, adding that a specific set of "entry and movement rules and procedures" have been detailed to keep athletes and other travellers safe.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting