Olympics: Bach's visit may be 'difficult' amid likely extension of emergency, says Hashimoto

The Tokyo 2020 organisers will be keeping a close eye on the coronavirus situation.
The Tokyo 2020 organisers will be keeping a close eye on the coronavirus situation.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach's visit to Japan might be "difficult" given the expected extension of a state of emergency due to high numbers of coronavirus cases, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said.

"I suspect that coming to Japan in the midst of this very severe situation would also be an emotional burden for president Bach," she said at a news conference held on Friday (May 7).

Japanese media reports have said the 67-year-old German would attend a torch relay ceremony in the western city of Hiroshima on May 17, but Hashimoto said his visit had not been confirmed.

The Tokyo 2020 organisers will keep a close eye on the coronavirus situation and make a decision on Olympic spectators in June based on that, she also said.

Japan is set to extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and four other areas until the end of May, meaning the measures would end less than two months before the Olympics start on July 23 after being postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.