July 6, 2022

US Issues Japan Travel Warning Weeks Before Olympics | New times

The United States has issued a travel warning for Japan regarding the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, amid a thorough examination weeks before the Tokyo Olympics.

But U.S. Olympic officials said they were confident their athletes would be able to participate safely in the Games.

Japan already bans most travelers from entering the country.

It has long had a low number of Covid cases but is now experiencing a new wave of infections pushing the health care system in some cities to its limits.

Japan has recorded more than 700,000 infections and 12,000 deaths from Covid-19 from the virus.

The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) said “Travelers should avoid all travel” in the country, warning that in the “current situation in Japan, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk of contracting and spreading” variants of Covid.

Largely because of the global pandemic, the United States currently has 151 countries at level four, its highest alert level, including most of Europe where major sporting events are held under special Covid restrictions.

Japan currently does not allow any tourists or business travelers into the country for fear of new strains of the virus. Japanese ban includes people coming from the United States be “refused authorization … except in exceptional circumstances”.

Large parts of the country are currently under a state of emergency to give regional authorities more power to implement measures against the pandemic.

Despite the growing crisis, the Tokyo Olympics are still scheduled to take place on July 23 after being postponed from last year.

Public opinion in the country has, however, seen a large majority of people calling for the Games to be canceled or postponed a second time. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled out these two options.

Many people in Japan are hoping that the CDC’s warning to Americans not to travel to Japan is a precursor to the US Olympic team’s withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics.

Why? Because most people in Japan want the Games canceled, and a withdrawal from the US team would almost certainly force the Japanese government to pull the plug.

For weeks, people here have been saying that Japan will not back down without outside pressure. There is even a name for it in Japanese – it’s called “gaiatsu”.

These people seem ready to be disappointed. The US Olympic Committee says it is not changing its plans. Neither does the International Olympic Committee.

Last Friday, IOC Vice President John Coates said the Olympics would go ahead “even though Tokyo is still in a state of emergency.”

This statement did not make him many friends in Japan, where daily Covid deaths are now higher than at any time during the pandemic, and where the healthcare system in parts of western Japan has been. described as “on the verge of collapse”.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said the travel warning would not affect their participation.

“We are confident that the current mitigation practices put in place for athletes and staff by the USOPC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, coupled with pre-travel testing, upon arrival in Japan and during the Games , will allow the safe participation of the US team athletes this summer, ”he said in a statement.

Japanese officials responded to the U.S. travel advisory on Tuesday, saying they didn’t expect it to have an impact.