August 18 2021
TOKYO – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will travel to Tokyo again to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
Bach is likely to arrive on Monday, the day before the opening event at the National Stadium, according to the sources. The 67-year-old left Japan after the July 23-Aug. 8 Olympics, but only after stoking fury among some members of the public for a visit to an upscale Tokyo shopping district despite a coronavirus emergency being in force in the capital.
A day after the Olympics closed, Bach was spotted strolling in the Ginza district accompanied by bodyguards at a time when the public was being told by the government to avoid nonessential and nonurgent outings because of a surge in infections.
Pictures and videos of his visit were widely shared on Japanese social media sites, with many complaining of double-standards.
Bach came to Japan on July 8 and stayed through the Olympics. Before the games began, he traveled to Hiroshima to lay a wreath at a cenotaph for atomic bombing victims.
The Paralympics are due to run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5, and, like the Olympics, will be held generally without spectators given that the state of emergency remains in force in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures.