UPDATE 07/09/2021:  it’s official — the tokyo 2020 olympics will be held without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic. the news came following the declaration of japan’s state of emergency running from july 12 to august 16, covering the 16 days the olympics will be held.


‘the number of infected cases in the area including tokyo has been increasing since the end of last month,’ said japanese prime minister yoshide suga. ‘the number of severe cases and bed occupancy rate continues to be on the low level, but considering the impact of variants, we need to enhance countermeasures so that the infection will not spread nationwide.’


organizers had already ban international spectators but locals were looking forward to attending the games.


’it is regrettable that we are delivering the games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections,’ seiko hashimoto, tokyo 2020 president said.




UPDATE 03/23/2021: the tokyo olympics announced it will not allow international spectators for the olympic and paralympic games tokyo 2020 due to the prevailing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.  


‘we share the disappointment of all enthusiastic olympic fans from around the world, and of course the families and friends of the athletes, who were planning to come to the games,’ said IOC president thomas bach. ‘for this I am truly sorry. we know that this is a great sacrifice for everybody. we have said from the very beginning of this pandemic that it will require sacrifices. but we have also said that the first principle is safety. every decision has to respect the principle of safety first. I know that our japanese partners and friends did not reach this conclusion lightly. together with them, the IOC’s top priority was, is and remains to organize safe olympic and paralympic games for everyone: all the participants and, of course, our gracious hosts, the japanese people. we stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the side of our japanese partners and friends, without any kind of reservation, to make the olympic and paralympic games tokyo 2020 a great success. together with our rights-holding broadcasters, we will make every effort so that the fans from around the world will be able to experience the olympic spirit. in this way, the olympic and paralympic games tokyo 2020 will be the light at the end of the tunnel and a safe manifestation of peace, solidarity and the resilience of humankind in overcoming the pandemic.’


olympic and paralympic games tickets purchased by overseas residents from the tokyo 2020 organizing committee will be refunded.

no decision yet on international spectators at tokyo olympic games designboom
images courtesy of tokyo 2020 olympic games


03/12/2021: media reports are circulating online that the tokyo 2020 olympic and paralympic games are to go ahead later this year without  overseas spectators. the rumors come due to rising concerns regarding the spread of new, and more contagious, variants of the coronavirus. however, as reported by reuters, the organizing committee president, seiko hashimoto, has quashed reports by saying a decision on international visitors has not yet been made and discussions are still ongoing. 



originally planned to begin on july 24, 2020, the games were first postponed early last year to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. the international sporting event is now scheduled to be held from july 23 to august 8, 2021. in a speech to the 137th session of the international olympic committee (IOC), president thomas bach said: ‘the IOC is working at full speed together with our japanese partners and friends to make the postponed olympic games tokyo 2020 a safe manifestation of peace, solidarity and the resilience of humankind in overcoming the pandemic.’