Due to a spike in Coronavirus cases Japan has announced that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead under a state of emergency, but without any spectators at events in the capital.
"We must take stronger steps to prevent another nationwide outbreak, also considering the impact of coronavirus variants,"
says Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga , Thursday at a taskforce meeting, after finalizing the decision.
The state of emergency will begin July 12 and last until August 22, although it could be lifted earlier, Suga added, if the pandemic improves.
At least three Olympic athletes arriving in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19, some with the Delta variant, as have some staff at the Olympic village.
Last month, the government sped up vaccinations, opening mass inoculation centers in Tokyo and Osaka, staffed by military doctors. It also planned to vaccinate employees at their workplaces, and students at universities. The government hit its target of a million vaccinations a day, but quickly exhausted supplies.
As a result, they were forced to suspend reservations for vaccinations, and cancel the workplace vaccination plan. At present, less than 15% of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to government statistics.