Kato: US travel advisory unrelated to Tokyo Games

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu says the United States' elevated travel warning to Japan due to the country's coronavirus situation is unrelated to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He told reporters on Tuesday that while US citizens are being advised not to travel to Japan, they are not banned from necessary visits.

He said the US has no entry restrictions on Japanese nationals at present, and he hasn't heard of any specific plans regarding the introduction of such measures.

He said he is regularly in close contact with the US government and he intends to continue to collect information and take appropriate action.

When asked about possible effects of the advisory on the Tokyo Games, Kato said his view is that the US remains supportive of Japan's commitment to hold the event.

He said the US has explained to him that the elevated travel warning is unrelated to the dispatch of the athletes' delegation.

He added that the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee released a statement a short while ago, saying that the measure will not affect the participation of its athletes at the Games.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko told reporters that she believes the US government released the advisory after looking at various situations across Japan.

She said she heard the US Olympic committee's message that it will not impact the Tokyo Games. She added that in any case, an all-out effort will be made to ensure the Games can be held safely and with peace of mind.