Tokyo Olympics to Officially Kick Off Friday

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, July 22 (Jiji Press)--The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony will start at 8 p.m. Friday (11 a.m. GMT), officially kicking off the world's biggest quadrennial sporting event after an unprecedented one-year postponement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony will take place with limited attendance and without spectators at the newly built Japan National Stadium as the host city is under a COVID-19 state of emergency.

In December, a team led by "kyogen" actor Nomura Mansai to direct the ceremony was disbanded. Nomura's successor, Hiroshi Sasaki, resigned over a gaffe in March.

On Monday, musician Keigo Oyamada stepped down as a composer for the ceremony over his past bullying behavior. On Thursday, the Olympics organizing committee dismissed Kentaro Kobayashi as show director of the ceremony over his past anti-Semitic remarks.

The Olympics return to the Japanese capital after 57 years. About 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries and regions are set to compete in a record 339 events in 33 sports. Competitions already started on Wednesday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020