Nishimura, sports officials discuss easing curbs

Japan's minister in charge of the coronavirus response has met with professional sports officials to discuss ways to ease spectator caps and other restrictions.

Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi talked with officials of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization and J.League soccer on Monday.

Japan's government plans to ease the curbs on restaurants and travel across prefectural borders for people who have been fully vaccinated or tested negative.

Nishimura told the officials that about 56 percent of the country's population had received two vaccine doses as of last Thursday. He said that if things go well, the figure in mid-October will rise to around 65 percent, about the same level as Britain and France.

Nishimura said the government plans to combine vaccination certificates and negative test results to contain infections while keeping daily activities going.

He pointed to the need to make arrangements with business operators over ways to ease restrictions. They include who should bear the costs, how to conduct virus tests smoothly on the spot, and how to find whether infections have occurred at events, by possibly using QR codes.

Nishimura is set to have a similar meeting with those engaged in music events later in the day.