Tokyo Paralympic Games to be held without spectators

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Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2020 shows the empty audience stands of the International Stadium Yokohama at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. (Xinhua/Cao Can)

The Tokyo Paralympic Games will be held without spectators due to the worsening COVID-19 situation, organizers announced on Monday.

The decision was made after a four-party meeting attended by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons, Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Japan's Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa.

"In light of the current emergency declaration issued for Tokyo, Saitama and Chiba Prefectures, another declaration of the state of emergency being requested by Shizuoka prefecture and the current infection situation broadly, more stringent measures will be taken for competitions to be held in these prefectures, including having no spectators," read a joint statement released by Tokyo 2020.

"With regards to road events, the organizers request the general public to refrain from coming to the roadsides to watch the competitions."

Organizers said that under the school program, children will be allowed to watch some competitions. But no decisions have been made about the number of children and the details of the competitions.

"In the event of any major changes in the infection situation, we will immediately hold a further four-party meeting to address the issue," the statement said.

The Paralympic Games, to kick off on August 24, will be held in four prefectures of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Shizuoka. The first three areas are already under a state of emergency and Shizuoka will be added to the list along with Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka on Friday. 

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