With the Tokyo Olympics less than a month away, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito is uneasy about the games continuing with the possibility of COVID-19 infections rising.
Yasuhiko Nishumura, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, said the emperor has expressed his concerns.
“His majesty is extremely worried about the current situation of the COVID-19 infections,” Nishimura said Thursday. “While there are voices of unease among the public, I believe [the emperor] is concerned that holding the Olympics and Paralympics … may lead to the expansion of the infections.”
The country’s emperor doesn’t hold any political power, but has popularity and is respected among the citizens.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently eased the state of emergency in the country, switching to less restrictive COVID-19 measures.
The Olympics, which were slated for last year and delayed due to the pandemic, are set to begin July 23 with the Paralympics to start Aug. 24.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.