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  • Japan Will Admit Foreign Athletes


    (ATR) The Japanese government eases entrance restrictions for foreign athletes, saying it’s necessary to prepare the country’s top athletes for next year’s Olympics and Paralympics.

    Japan currently bans foreign nationals from 166 countries and territories. (Wikipedia)
    According to Kyodo, athletes from overseas who compete in Olympic sports will be allowed in Japan so that they can boost the quality of the domestic competitions ahead of Tokyo 2020.

    Among the organizations benefiting from the decision are basketball’s B-League and volleyball’s V-League which are scheduled to start their seasons in October.

    Table tennis (T-League), rugby (Top League) and professional golf are also on the list. The governing bodies of the sports will be responsible for infection prevention measures. It is hoped that what is learned from the process now can be used for the Games in 2021.

    To get into Japan, athletes will have to pass tests before leaving their countries and will be under a 14-day self-quarantine once they arrive. They must also submit their movement plans within Japan.

    Kyodo reports that coaches and players of various sports who were working in Japan earlier in the year were allowed to return despite the coronavirus ban being in place. Foreign players who were in the country before the ban have been taking part in the professional baseball and soccer leagues in Japan.

    While some athletes will be allowed in, Japan's wider entry ban on foreign nationals from 166 countries and territories remains in place.

    Abe Ally the Presumptive Prime Minister

    A long-time ally of outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wins the leadership election for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

    Yoshihide Suga, 71, served as chief cabinet secretary under Abe since 2012. Abe resigned last month, citing health issues.

    Suga is almost certain to become Japan’s next prime minister at an extraordinary session of the Diet on Wednesday. The ruling LDP controls the lower chamber of the government and holds a coalition majority in the upper chamber.

    Suga has pledged to continue Abe’s policies. Abe has been a key supporter of the Tokyo Olympics from the bid to the current efforts to hold the Games in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Homepage photo: ATR

    Written by Gerard Farek

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