Many Japan Local Govts Give Up Hosting Pre-Tokyo Games Camps

Politics

Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press)--Amid the unabated spread of the new coronavirus, an increasing number of local governments in Japan have decided to give up on hosting pre-Tokyo Games training camps for foreign athletes slated to take part in the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.

As of Wednesday, 78 municipalities decided to cancel training camps or exchange programs for athletes and local residents. More municipalities made such decisions later.

Meanwhile, municipalities that still plan to accept athletes from abroad, including those serving as so-called "host towns," are set to step up their measures against the virus.

The town of Takanezawa in the central prefecture of Tochigi had been making efforts to build momentum to accept 25 people, including track and field athletes and boxers, from Lesotho, such as creating newsletters to let local elementary and junior high school students learn about the culture and geographical features of the African country.

But the town decided to cancel the plan as preparations did not go smoothly partly due to Lesotho's Embassy in Japan introducing a work-from-home system amid the virus crisis. With the embassy still asking the town for continued support, the Takanezawa municipal government will consider organizing online interaction events for Lesotho athletes and students from the town.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press