US advises against travel to Japan due to Covid-19

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Washington, May 25 (IANS) The United States on Monday advised its citizens against traveling to Japan due to Covid-19 risk, two months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.

The State Department raised its travel advisory for Japan and Sri Lanka to “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” the most restrictive category.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Japan due to Covid-19, indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country,” the State Department posted on its website.

The warning came just two months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23, the Xinhua news agency reported.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates said Friday that the postponed Tokyo Olympics would “absolutely” take place in two months, regardless of whether the Japanese capital is still in a state of emergency.

Tokyo, Osaka, and seven other prefectures have been under a state of emergency since April, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga added Okinawa to the list after the southern Japanese prefecture confirmed a daily record of 207 Covid-19 cases on Friday.

Public opposition to the Games in Japan has intensified in recent months as the country grapples with Covid-19. A recent poll published by Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun showed that over 80 per cent of respondents opposed Tokyo hosting the Olympics this year.