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Olympics in further doubt as Japan mulls lockdown extensions

Fresh doubt has been cast over the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as the Japanese government reportedly considers extending its state of emergency.

While Japan was one of the strongest responders to the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent wave of infections led the government to announce a state of emergency on April 25 across a number of prefectures which include Tokyo and Osaka. The Japanese government is now weighing up whether to extend these measures beyond May 11, with the reports raising further doubts as to whether the country is fit to host the Olympics which are scheduled to start on July 23.

The report from Yomiuri said that Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga met with senior government ministers yesterday to consider expanding the state of emergency to include Hokkaido and Fukuoka prefectures. Reports state that the state of emergency could be increased by a further three weeks.

This has had a ripple effect on confidence in staging the games, with nine of Japan’s 47 prefectural governors responding to a Mainichi Shimbun survey that the games should be cancelled. Three of the nine are scheduled to provide venues for the event.