The Tokyo Olympics will be different from Games held in the past. There will be no fans, no hugs and no booze as organisers unveiled tough new rules one month before the opening ceremony. Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said in order to keep players and the games safe, festivities "will have to be suppressed".
Last month, the organising committee decided to allow only 10,000 domestic spectators but it was changed to a locked-door event after a surge of COVID cases in Japan.
People in Tokyo are sceptical about the opening ceremony and organisers are doing everything possible to make it safe for locals and participants.
There has been domestic opposition to the Games as around half of Japan's public still don't want the event to open. Addressing fears of a fun-free Games, Hashimoto said hoped the Olympics would showcase Japan's "culture of hospitality and caring about each other."
Last year, after the delay, organisers kept the Tokyo 2020 name, saying they wanted the event to be seen as a “light at the end of the tunnel.” By keeping the name, the IOC also ensured that logos, packaging, t-shirts, merchandise and broadcast chyrons remain the same — a cost-saving move for sponsors and partners.
The games will begin from July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympics will begin August 24. This Olympics is the first staging of a modern Olympics in an odd-numbered year.
Though Japan has lowest infection numbers among developed countries, the vaccination rate is also lowest among the 37 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Japan has pledged to vaccinate athletes before the opening ceremony.