Expert points out risks from Games-related events

The head of the Japanese government's advisory panel on the coronavirus response has expressed concerns over possible infection risks arising from events related to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Omi Shigeru told a Lower House committee meeting on Wednesday that thorough measures are needed against such risks.

He said that while he thinks it's possible to control infection risks among athletes and people in stadiums, public viewings and other events related to the Tokyo Games could increase the flow of people. He pointed out that compared with other sports events, the Games are much larger in size and the public's attention on them are higher.

He said there are also concerns over whether members of the media, sponsors and Games staff will fully observe the anti-coronavirus rules in the "playbooks."

Omi stressed the importance of thorough implementation of anti-infection measures.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu commented on the concerns expressed by Omi.

He said he agreed that an increase in the movement of people leads to higher infection risks.

He added that he believes Tokyo officials and event organizers will make decisions while taking into account the correlation between people's movement and infection.