- Title: Residents supportive of Tokyo Paralympic Games despite COVID-19 concerns
- Date: 24th August 2021
- Summary: PARALYMPIC SYMBOL
- Embargoed: 7th September 2021 08:34
- Keywords: COVID-19 Japan Paralympic Games Paralympic village Tokyo Tokyo 2020 aerobatics athletes' village coronavirus fighter jets lockdown pandemic
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA006ERN0KSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Tokyo residents on Tuesday (August 24) aimed their smartphone cameras towards the sky and squealed with delight as the Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) aerobatics team Blue Impulse soared overhead in a display held ahead of the Paralympic Games' opening ceremony.
The jets flew over the Japanese capital in the early afternoon emitting smoke in the colours of the Olympic rings, ahead of the opening ceremony set to take place in the evening at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.
Planners of the Paralympics, set to run from Tuesday until Sept. 5, agreed recently to hold the Games generally without spectators, a measure taken at the recently concluded Olympics.
"Under the current (COVID-19) situation, I feel sorry for all the athletes. From my point of view, I'm a little worried about holding the Paralympic Games. But I still hope the athletes will do their best," 52-year-old office worker Chika Sasagawa told Reuters.
Japan's fifth wave of infections, which is being driven by the highly infectious Delta variant, has prompted the government to extend pandemic emergency measures in Tokyo and other regions until Sept. 12.
"I have many concerns (in terms of COVID-19), but I believe that Japan, as a host country (of the Paralympic Games), is making all the efforts so that athletes can compete safely in the Games," 45-year-old local resident Kana Matsuyama said.
(Production: Irene Wang and Chris Gallagher)
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