On Aug. 9 IOC president Thomas Bach and a female companion were spotted strolling in Tokyo's fashionable Ginza district accompanied by bodyguards. At a press conference following a Cabinet meeting on Aug. 10, Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa commented, "Whether something is necessary or an emergency is a judgment that must be made by the individual." Under the state of emergency currently declared for Tokyo, the government has asked residents of the city to refrain from going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary or an emergency.
The Olympic Playbook, a collection of rules and regulations covering countermeasures against the coronavirus pandemic, explicitly prohibits athletes, staff and officials from going sightseeing. Bach's actions set off a firestorm of criticism against him on Japanese social media. Given that Bach arrived in Japan on July 8, Minister Marukawa commented, "The important point is that pandemic countermeasures are strictly observed for the 14 days following immigration."
translated and edited by Brett Larner