TOKYO: Japanese Emperor Naruhito appears to be concerned that holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could cause a rise in new coronavirus infections in the country, Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Yasuhiko Nishimura said Thursday.
At a regular press conference, Nishimura said he feels the Emperor, as honorary patron of the Tokyo Games, has the concern amid worries among the public about the events.
Nishimura added that he has not directly heard the Emperor speaking about such a concern.
The agency head called on the Tokyo Games organizing committee and other related bodies to “cooperate and make every effort to prevent infections.”
Whether the Emperor will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics or visit Olympic venues has not been decided, Nishimura said.
Asked about the agency head’s remarks on the Emperor’s apparent concern, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a separate news conference on the day that the agency head only expressed his own view.
“We’ll proceed steadily with preparations for the games, with our top priority on ensuring a safe and secure environment,” Kato said.