Japan will aim to further cut the number of non-athletes from abroad for next month’s Tokyo Olympics and finish inoculating all citizens who want COVID-19 vaccines by November in an attempt to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, prime minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.
During a debate in parliament with party leaders, the first in about two years, Suga reiterated his determination to go ahead with staging the Olympics and Paralympics, despite strong public opposition.
“I want to send out from Japan a message that the world has confronted the difficulties brought on by the novel coronavirus and overcome them by uniting,” Suga said.
As part of measures to protect people’s health, Suga said Japan will seek to reduce further the number of Olympic officials, workers and press members from foreign countries.
Japan has already halved the number from the initially planned 180,000 as it steps up preparation for the Olympics, due to open July 23, following a one-year postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Protecting the lives and safety of the people is my responsibility,” said Suga, who heads the Liberal Democratic Party.
Yukio Edano, the leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, criticised Suga for lacking understanding of the situation.
“You cannot make up for lives once they are lost. Politics cannot take responsibility for lost lives, and the prime minister is not sufficiently aware of it,” Edano said.
This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.