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Japan mulls simplifying Tokyo Games due to coronavirus

Japan is considering simplifying the format of next year's Tokyo Olympics as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, government sources said Thursday.

The changes could include a reduction in the number of spectators and a scaling back of the opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympics, according to the sources.

The provision of medical services, including polymerase chain reaction tests for athletes, staff and spectators, and restrictions on outings from the athletes' village are also being floated as possible measures against the virus.

"We hope to work together with the government and the Tokyo organizing committee to look into what can be rationalized and simplified," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters. "It will be necessary in order to gain empathy and understanding from the public."

Organizing committee spokesman Masanori Takaya revealed that concrete measures to cope with the health threat would be taken up from this autumn.

"When it comes time to stage next year's games, the biggest issue will be our coronavirus countermeasures," he said.

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government were forced to make an unprecedented decision in March to postpone the Olympics, initially due to begin July 24, for one year due to the outbreak of the virus.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the Olympics and Paralympics should be held in a "complete form" and dismissed the option of reducing the scale of the games, which remains the government's ultimate aim.

But Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Thursday stopped short of clarifying whether the government is still sticking to its pledge.

"It is extremely important to host a secure and safe games for athletes and spectators," the top government spokesman told a press conference.

The sources said the Tokyo organizing committee and the IOC are already in discussions about revisions to their operational plans to reduce costs and adopt measures against the virus.

Without going into details, Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto said, "We have to consider what should be done, including testing, to ensure security and safety" over preventive measures against viral infections.

The Olympics are slated to be held from July 23 to Aug. 8 next year, with the Paralympic Games following between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5.

John Coates, who heads the IOC's coordination commission, said last month that October will be a critical period for assessing whether the Japanese capital can host the games next year as scheduled.

"The games can only happen in 2021. We can't postpone it again and we have to assume that there won't be a vaccine or, if there is a vaccine, it won't be sufficient to share around the world," The Australian newspaper quoted Coates as saying during a roundtable of sports executives organized by Australia's News Corp.

June 4,2020

News source: Kyodo news

Link to this article:https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/f85a8e5bfa07-breaking-news-japan-govt-mulls-simplifying-tokyo-olympics.html

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Since the "Brazilians: topic was closed before I could comment, I was going to say that assessing 2016 is between vuvuzuelas and boos, I'd take the boos (which should have its limits).  But what I wil

They rewrote a single line from the old Olympic enka since the original refers to Rome, but the new one refers to Rio.    

Yeah, I think regrettable is the word. Bit of a quandry isn't it? On the one hand it IS off-putting to many of us. On the other hand trying to cut them some slack by knowing they can't see anything wr

On 7/15/2020 at 9:37 PM, olympikfan said:

Don't rule out that Tokyo might get cancel. Its a strong possibility. If the world has a second wave and COVID can not be control . The Olympics are cancel. And if anyone thinks it wont happen the risks are very high.

Who is ruling it out and thinks it won't happen?

We have no idea what the world will look like 4 or 8 or 12 months from now.  It doesn't need to be said, not by Dick Pound or whoever in a forum, that the Olympics might get cancelled.  I think we all know that at this point.

However, if they don't get cancelled...Tokyo Olympic schedule remains the same, venues lined up

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Oxford is our only hope right now. Let's hope the vaccine happens very soon or that at least the virus mutates into a less dangerous strain. I just wish people weren't so goddamn stupid around the world and either wore masks or were efficient in government, then maybe this chaos wouldn't be as bad. This crisis has really exposed the worse of many.

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On 7/24/2020 at 4:06 PM, Ikarus360 said:

Oxford is our only hope right now. Let's hope the vaccine happens very soon or that at least the virus mutates into a less dangerous strain. I just wish people weren't so goddamn stupid around the world and either wore masks or were efficient in government, then maybe this chaos wouldn't be as bad. This crisis has really exposed the worse of many.

it's okay. you can say "americans," I agree lol.

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On 5/13/2020 at 6:24 AM, baron-pierreIV said:

I've already seen ads on Facebook for "official" Tokyo 2020 merchandise.  (I was going to buy a T-shirt, but when I clicked on it, it was obvious it had been blocked.)  So some suppliers are trying to unload their stuff illicitly now.  

I bought official Tokyo 2020 merchandise when I was in Tokyo 2 years ago. Little did I know.

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8 hours ago, Anthony said:

it's okay. you can say "americans," I agree lol.

Sadly, it's not just Americans that have anti maskers to worry about.

Mexico, Canada, France, the UK, and others have recently made the news as well. :/

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The fact WHO screwed up badly and some stupid people in our government says we have to use mask and avoid crowds and public places while they go to the beach and have fun until they're caught by a random person is not helping at all to stop anti maskers. And if you think they're bad, wait for the anti vaxxers later this year.

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Pfizer, BioNTech to supply 120m doses of virus vaccine to Japan

Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to supply Japan with 120 million doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccine in the first half of 2021, the companies said on Friday.

The companies did not disclose the financial details of the agreement, but said terms were based on the volume of doses and the timing of the delivery.

The United States has signed a similar deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses for nearly $2 billion, which amounts to a $39 price tag for what is likely to be a two-dose treatment course.

There is no current vaccine for COVID-19. The disease has claimed 670,000 lives and upended economies, and there are over 150 vaccines in various stages of development against the still fast-spreading virus.

German biotech company BioNTech and U.S. drugmaker Pfizer on Monday began a large, late-stage trial of their vaccine candidate to demonstrate its efficacy.

Daiichi Sankyo is in discussions to provide supplies of a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for use in Japan.

Assuming clinical success of the vaccines, Pfizer and BioNtech said they were on track to seek regulatory review for the vaccine as early as October.

Date:July 31, 2020

News source:Nikkei Asian Review

Link to this article:https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Pharmaceuticals/Pfizer-BioNTech-to-supply-120m-doses-of-virus-vaccine-to-Japan

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