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Municipalities in Balancing Act over Foreign Olympic Athletes

Municipalities in Balancing Act over Foreign Olympic Athletes

   Tokyo, June 21 (Jiji Press)--With one month to go until the Tokyo Olympics kick off, municipalities that host participating athletes from abroad are performing a balancing act to secure their safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.
   Although 122 municipalities had as of June 4 cancelled their plans to host foreign teams coming to Japan for pre-Olympic training and games and more have since followed suit, local governments that decided to remain hosts are dedicating a lot of energy to ensuring the foreign athletes' safe stays while considering how to enable local residents to cheer them up without direct interactions.
   The city of Ota, Gunma Prefecture, has been hosting the women's softball team from Australia since June 1, becoming the first Japanese municipality to accept a foreign Olympic team for a training camp since the Tokyo Games were postponed last year.
   The city government first put off its plan to allow the public to view a practice match and reviewed measures to prevent the team members from contracting the coronavirus.
   It eventually came up with the idea of asking locals to sign up to watch practice matches to limit the number of spectators.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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