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Japan considers using cruise ships as hotels for Olympic and Paralympic visitors

The large cruise ship "Ovation of the Seas" is seen in this Sept. 23, 2016 file photo, in the city of Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture. (Mainichi)

The government is considering using large cruise ships as "hotel ships" to guarantee sufficient lodgings for guests during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Related ministries and agencies as well as cruise ship industry groups formed a special committee to discuss the matter on June 29. The committee is set to deliberate on the necessary arrangements, interpretation of existing laws and candidate ship providers, and submit a summary of policies by the end of this fall.

At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, the organizing committee called in a cruise ship with a capacity of 4,000 people to accommodate guests for up to 19 days. There are also examples of the same system having been employed in Japan in the past. During the 1989 Yokohama Exotic Showcase, the cruise ship "Queen Elizabeth 2," which has a capacity of 1,770, was docked at the port city for a period of 65 days.

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