IMF chief says lack of fans at Olympics won't harm Japan's recovery

Japan Times -- Mar 31
International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said Tuesday that Japan's economic recovery will not be derailed by staging the Tokyo Games without overseas spectators, while hailing the country's "strong response" to mitigate the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic through timely stimulus packages.

"In terms of economic impact (from the absence of overseas fans), it would be very minor. We've done some calculations and we concluded that it is not going to harm the Japanese recovery," the IMF managing director said.

She said Japan has "a very diversified and vibrant economy" and is not dependent on revenues from hosting the Olympics.

In mid-March, the organizing bodies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics made the unprecedented decision that this summer's rescheduled games will bar overseas spectators due to the pandemic.

While expressing regret that many people will not be able to spectate in person, Georgieva, who has headed the IMF since 2019, said there will still be hundreds of millions of viewers and she wishes Japan a "very successful Olympic Games."

Although public skepticism remains over whether the Olympics should begin as scheduled on July 23, she said the decision to go forward with the global sporting event is "clearly justified" by the progress made so far in coronavirus vaccination efforts.

- Japan Times