July 31, 2021

journalists from abroad will be monitored by GPS

Foreign journalists covering the Tokyo Olympics this summer will be constantly geotagged by GPS and risk losing their accreditation if they break the rules, Organizing Committee Chair Seiko Hashimoto said on Tuesday (June 8th).

Due to the persistence of the pandemic, the approximately 6,000 media representatives expected from abroad for the Olympics must provide a detailed list of the places they plan to go during their first two weeks in Japan, such as the venues. Olympic Games or their hotel.

“To make sure that people are not going to places other than where they are allowed to go, we will be using (the) GPS (system) to strictly manage their behavior.”, declared Mme Hashimoto ahead of a Tokyo 2020 executive committee meeting.

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Travel for athletes is also very limited

Journalists from abroad will be asked to stay in hotels pre-selected by the organizers instead of opting for private accommodation. And the number of designated hotels will be reduced to around 150 from 350 initially, in order to better allow organizers to verify compliance with the rules, added Mr.me Hashimoto.

The restrictions on access to Japan and the drastic conditions imposed by the organizers have forced many foreign media to reduce their teams specially sent to cover the Games. Olympic athletes themselves will be very limited in their movements and will have to pass daily tests to verify that they are not infected with Covid-19.

Spectators from abroad have already been asked to stay at home from March by the organizers of the Olympics. Whether or not to allow Japanese spectators, and if so in what proportion, remains to be decided later this month, as the Games are slated for July 23 through August 8.

The Japanese government and organizers have been trying for months to give guarantees of security to public opinion, which fears that the Olympics will worsen the health crisis in the country, especially as only 3.5% of the local population is currently fully vaccinated.

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The World with AFP