U.S. supports Tokyo Olympics but only limited people will travel to Japan: Psaki

May 26, 2021

 The United States supports the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, but only “very limited” categories of Americans, including athletes, will travel to the host nation, a White House spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Jen Psaki also said U.S. athletes and other visitors will follow a very strict set of safety protocols while taking part in the quadrennial sporting event that has already been delayed by a year.

“Our position has not changed on the Olympics. We respected the decision to delay the games last summer. We understand the careful considerations that the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee are weighing as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics this summer,” the spokeswoman told a press briefing.

Her remarks came one day after the State Department raised its travel advisory for Japan to the highest Level 4 that advises Americans not to travel to the Asian country.

“The government has stressed that public health remains the central priority as they plan to host the Games,” Psaki said, adding U.S. athletes scheduled to take part in the Olympics will make up part of what she called a “very limited categories of U.S. travelers” that will actually visit Japan for the Olympics.

The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled to be held between July 23 and Aug. 8.

A growing number of people, including many in Japan, are calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics amid the pandemic.

The country has reported over 700,000 confirmed cases with over 12,000 deaths so far, according to the World Health Organization.

Japan currently has a national state of emergency declaration in place, which was last extended last Tuesday, with more than 3,000 new infection cases daily since mid-April.