Japan Visit by IOC Pres. Bach Put Off

Tokyo, May 10 (Jiji Press)--The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee said Monday that a planned visit to Japan by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has been put off.

The postponement of the visit, planned for mid-May, came on the heels of the Japanese government's decision to extend its third novel coronavirus state of emergency to May 31.

The emergency took effect April 25 and was originally slated to run until Tuesday this week. It now targets four of the country's 47 prefectures--Tokyo, and Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo in western Japan--and will cover two more prefectures--Aichi in central Japan and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan--from Wednesday.

The IOC leader's Japan visit will be rescheduled for the earliest possible date, based on the coronavirus infection situation, according to the organizing committee. The committee is apparently eyeing a visit in June.

Bach was expected to visit Japan on May 17-18, when the Tokyo Olympics torch relay is slated to be held in the western prefecture of Hiroshima. At a press conference on Friday, Seiko Hashimoto, president of the organizing committee, said that it would be extremely difficult for Bach to visit the Asian nation as scheduled.

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Jiji Press