French President Emmanuel Macron plans on Friday, France’s Sports Minister said, to take part in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
Macron was the first group to organize its participation in the Games, which had to be deferred to one year due to the pandemic of coronavirus.
France will host Paris’ next summer Olympic Games in 2024, and the International Olympic Committee and local organizers would be welcomed to receive Macron with his presence.
“The President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron) will be there for the opening”, Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told France Info radio.
She said she will also attend the Games, as would French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
“We have to take the torch for Paris 2024 at the end of the Games,” she said.
The Tokyo Games face mounting opposition from the public, and in a Reuters company survey released on Friday nearly 70% of respondents said they wanted a cancellation or further postponement.
IOC tried to alleviate its concerns by saying that the Games would be safe and that local health services would not be burdened.
Emergency conditions in much of Japan were imposed until the end of the month only nine week before the event to counter a surge in infections that resulted in a shortage of medical personnel and hospital beds in some areas.
The vaccination program in Japan was also very slow with a lowest rate among G7 nations, only four per cent of the population being inoculated.