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Japan Olympic minister denies prioritizing games athletes' vaccinations

Tamayo Marukawa, who is currently the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, is seen in the National Diet in Tokyo in this file photo from March 2018. (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- Japan's Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa on April 9 denied prioritizing coronavirus vaccines for Japanese athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, following suggestions of such a plan within the central government.

    Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Marukawa said at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting, "At present, we are not at all considering (prioritizing vaccines), nor do we have plans for concrete discussion on it in future."

    Though the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended athletes taking part in the games get inoculated, it does not require them to. Marukawa said, "While this may change depending on circumstances and discussions between the IOC and the organizing committee, we are preparing for a games that won't require vaccinations."

    (Japanese original by Hiroyuki Asatsuma, Sports News Department)

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