The landmark venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics - the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the
The landmark venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics - the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the "Ice Ribbon", is capped, Dec. 31, 2019. Photo by He Yong/People’s Daily

Japan will limit the number of foreign spectators and staff at the upcoming Olympic Games to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday, citing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

In mid-May, the agency reported that the number of overseas officials and workers would be reduced to approximately 78,000 at Olympic and Paralympic games, and there may be further cuts on the number of sports officials, staff and journalists.

Speaking in the parliament on Wednesday, Suga reaffirmed his readiness to go through with the games.

“I want to send out from Japan a message that the world has confronted the difficulties brought on by the novel coronavirus and overcome them by uniting,” Suga said as quoted by Kyodo.

The Olympic event, set to begin in late July, had already been rescheduled from 2020. Holding it in 2021 raised heated discussions among the Japanese politicians, as the coronavirus remains a serious threat. However, canceling the games would cost Japan about $16 billion, Japanese economic research and consulting firm Nomura Research Institute Ltd estimated in May.

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