Emperor Naruhito's schedule for Tokyo Olympics not finalised yet: Report
- “We are in the process of scheduling,” said the head of the Imperial household Yasuhiko Nishimura
- As the Games honorary president, Emperor Naruhito would be the one declaring the Tokyo Olympics open
- Last month, the Japanese Emperor said that he was deeply concerned about the Olympics taking place amid the pandemic
With only 15 days left from the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, the schedule of the honorary patron, Japanese Emperor Naruhito for the Games is still "to be determined". As the Games honorary president, Emperor Naruhito would normally have been the one declaring the Tokyo Olympics open during the Opening Ceremony. However, according to his top aide, his itinerary has not been finalised yet.
“We are in the process of scheduling,” The Asahi Shimbun quoted the head of the Imperial household Yasuhiko Nishimura saying on Thursday. “I have nothing to say about it at the moment.”
According to the Imperial household head, the answers to what Naruhito will say in the opening statement at the Games, whether he will a hold a feast at the palace, or invite foreign heads of state and other guests, or whether the Imperial family members will attend the event are still "up in the air."
This came after last month the Japanese Emperor, who holds no political power, said he was deeply concerned about the Olympics taking place while the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The emperor is concerned about holding the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games... I suppose that he is concerned that while there are voices of anxiety among the public, the event may lead to the expansion of infections,” Nishimura said at a June 24 news conference, the Kyodo News Agency reported.
His remark stirred controversy but it came too late as the International Olympics Committee is determined to start the Games on July 23 a year after it was originally scheduled to take place.
Talking about the Emperor's remark on the Games taking place, Nishimura told reporters, “I just want thorough countermeasures to prevent infections to be implemented in conjunction with the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. That’s all,” The Asahi Shimbun quoted.