Olympic selection process faces challenges

The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting Japan's selection process for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, as many qualifying events have been postponed or canceled.

The Games are scheduled to start in seven months but Japan has selected only 20 percent of its athletes.

NHK's survey shows 117 Japanese athletes have been chosen for 13 sports out of 33. The total size of the country's Olympic squad is expected to be around 600.

Spots for judo, table tennis, taekwondo, sport climbing, and cycling have been all filled, but the overall ratio remains low.

For sports where domestic events are central in the selection process, like swimming and athletics, it will be crucial for the remaining national championships and other major tournaments to be held as planned.

Meanwhile, dates for some international qualifying events have yet to be set.

Many sports association officials also say it is uncertain if their competitions will take place as scheduled due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.