Hundreds of Japanese towns and cities have been forced to rethink plans to host Olympic teams because the coronavirus will prevent public appearances and require costly safety measures.
The western town of Okuizumo spent more than $5 million preparing to welcome India’s hockey team for a pre-Games training camp, only to scrap the visit because of Covid-19.
After sinking money into upgrading sports facilities, Okuizomo balked when it became clear it would have to provide bubble-like bio-security measures with regular virus tests and medical care.
More than 500 municipalities signed up to host athletes in a scheme aimed at broadening the Olympics’ benefits.
Some, like Okuizumo, have already scrapped plans to host athletes.
Kurihara was planning to host South Africa’s hockey team, but decided the expense was no longer worth it given the limitations imposed by virus measures.