Challenges for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics

Organizers of the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are facing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Games scheduled to start in seven months.

The 2020 Tokyo Games were put off by one year due to the pandemic. It was the first time that the Games have been deferred. The Olympics will open on July 23 and the Paralympics on August 24.

Organizers plan to decide in the spring how many spectators should be allowed at the venues.

The torch relay for the Olympics will start in March.

Delayed test events are due to take place between March and May with anti-virus measures in place.

Athletes taking part in each sport are expected to be decided by the end of June.

But the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, with variants being identified.

It remains uncertain whether all participating countries and territories will be able to hold competitions to select athletes for the Games.

Organizers need to decide how they will limit the number of spectators, including those from abroad.

They also need to put together a medical support system for the Games, which could become a burden for frontline healthcare workers.

In an opinion poll conducted by NHK in December, 32 percent of the respondents said the Games should be canceled. That was 5 percentage points higher than the level of support for holding the Games.