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Japan rejects China’s offer of Covid-19 vaccines for Olympic athletes

Japan rejects China's offer of Covid-19 vaccines for Olympic athletes

Japanese Olympic athletes will not take Covid-19 vaccines offered by China as these shots have not been approved in Japan, Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa was quoted on as saying on Friday by  the country’s news broadcaster NHK.

The Chinese Olympic Committee offered vaccines for athletes participating in this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday.

The Tokyo Olympics have now been scheduled from July 23 to Aug. 8, after being postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

IOC President Thomas Bach’s announcement on China’s offer at an online session had come as a surprise to the organisers of the Tokyo games.

“I think that will be a decision for countries where Chinese vaccines have been approved,” NHK quoted Marukawa as telling a regular news conference, speaking on the issue of whether athletes would receive the vaccinations offered by China.

“I don’t know of any Chinese companies that have applied for approval in Japan,” she added, saying Japanese athletes would not be eligible.

“We are taking comprehensive anti-infection measures so that people can feel secure about participating in the Tokyo Games, even without a vaccination.  There is no change that we are proceeding on the assumption of people not getting vaccinations,” she added.