French President Macron to attend Tokyo Olympics – Minister
French President Emmanuel Macron plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the French Sports Minister said on Friday.
Macron is said to be the first Group of Seven leader to plan his participation in the Games, which had to be postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
France will host the next Summer Olympics in 2024 in Paris and Macron’s presence would be a welcome support for the International Olympic Committee and local organizers.
“The President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron) will be there for the opening,” Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told France Info radio.
She said she would also attend the Games, as would French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
“We must take up the torch of Paris 2024 at the end of the Games,” she said.
The Tokyo Games face growing opposition from the public and, in a Reuters survey released on Friday, nearly 70% of those polled said they wanted a cancellation or rescheduling.
The IOC tried to allay concerns, saying the Games would be safe for participants and would not burden local health services.
With just nine weeks to go, states of emergency have been imposed across much of Japan until the end of the month to counter an increase in infections that has led to a shortage of medical staff and hospital beds. In certain regions.
Japan’s immunization program has also been particularly slow, with just 4% of the population vaccinated, the lowest rate among G7 countries.
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