Minister urges public to cheer Games at home

Japan's health minister is encouraging people to watch and cheer the Olympics and Paralympics at home. Tamura Norihisa also says that local governments that cancel public viewing events are acting appropriately.

A growing number of municipalities say they won't be holding public viewing events because of concerns about coronavirus infections.

Tamura told reporters on Friday that the decisions are appropriate, and other municipalities will decide what to do after consulting with experts.

Tamura said athletes have been fighting in competitions under very difficult conditions in the past year, and the public must fight to contain the infections as well.

He stressed the significance of efforts to reduce infection risks during the Games.

The current state of emergency for 10 prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, is set to expire on June 20.

Tamura said the government will decide whether to lift or extend the measures after consulting with the government's coronavirus advisory panel and experts at the health ministry.