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IOC chief Bach plans to arrive in Japan on July 9

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach attends a press conference in Tokyo on Nov. 16, 2020. (Pool photo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach may arrive in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics on July 9, three days earlier than initially scheduled, officials familiar with the matter said Thursday.

    Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Japanese organizing committee, told reporters that he has been informed that Bach will come to the country "earlier."

    The IOC had said its president would arrive on July 12, 11 days before the opening ceremony. His trip to Japan slated for mid-May was canceled, partly because Tokyo was under a COVID-19 state of emergency, amid widespread skepticism about the IOC and the Japanese government's determination to push ahead with the games this summer.

    IOC Vice President John Coates has already arrived in Japan for the Tokyo Games, which were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Coates, who heads the IOC's Coordination Commission, visited the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Wednesday, making his first public appearance following a three-day quarantine period.

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