August 28, 2020
The first meeting of a coronavirus countermeasures conference is expected to take place in September, as Japan prepares for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The process will be led by the Japanese Government as part of a three-party council.
Representatives from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will also contribute.
According to Kyodo, Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary Kazuhiro Sugita has been appointed to lead the meetings.
Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Immigration Bureau are expected to participate.
Health experts are among those anticipated to be in attendance.
Coronavirus countermeasures have been viewed as vital in providing reassurance to athletes and allowing the Games to take place as planned.
The three-party council is expected to regularly meet in the coming months to determine "robust countermeasures".
The countermeasures are expected to be announced by the end of 2020.
According to Kyodo, border control and protocols for athletes at the Games are among the topics set to be discussed.
Japan currently denies entry to people from 146 countries and regions as part of its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who are allowed to enter are asked to spend two weeks in quarantine.
It is expected that around 11,000 athletes from more than 200 nations and territories will compete at the Olympics in Tokyo.
A clear pathway to the Games is expected to be determined at the meetings.
Organisers hope countermeasures will help to ease doubts over the Games, which remain due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Surveys have recently revealed uncertainty among members of the public, volunteers and companies about the Games taking place next year.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has claimed the coronavirus situation is improving in Japan, despite a spike in cases compared to when the Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed in March.
The Japanese capital reported 250 new coronavirus cases today, with Tokyo having now officially had more than 20,000 since the pandemic began.