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Olympics: No Chinese vaccines to be taken by Team Japan, minister says

TOKYO, MAR 12 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/12/2021 1:38:04 PM IST

Japanese athletes at the Summer Olympics will not be eligible for coronavirus vaccinations offered by China since Japan has not approved the vaccines, Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa said on Friday.

The Chinese Olympic Committee offered vaccine doses for participants of this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday.

IOC President Thomas Bach’s announcement during an online session took organisers of the Tokyo Games, such as Chief Executive Toshiro Muto, by surprise. Muto declined comment on the offer at a Thursday briefing after the session.

On Friday, Marukawa said there was no change in Tokyo organisers’ plans for a safe Games, regardless of whether participants had been vaccinated.

“I think that will be a decision for countries where (Chinese vaccines) have been approved,” Marukawa told a regular news conference when asked if athletes should receive the vaccinations offered by China.

“I am not aware if any Chinese companies have applied for approval of Chinese vaccines in our country,” she said, indicating that Japanese athletes would not be eligible.

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