COVID-19 is to blame, say the organizers. Ticket holders will get their money back.
Originally set for 2020, the games have been delayed by the pandemic.
Originally set to take place from July 24 through Aug. 9, 2020, the Olympics were pushed back a year because of the coronavirus and rescheduled for July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympics were also delayed and are now set to run from Aug. 24 through Sept. 5, 2021.
The organizers noted Saturday that emerging coronavirus variants continue to raise concern and that the situation with COVID-19 in Japan and elsewhere remains challenging. They also pointed to severe international travel restrictions put in place by countries around the world and said overseas travelers may well be prohibited from entering Japan this summer.
Read more: Fear and COVID in hotel quarantine: What it’s like flying overseas right now
They said they made the decision about international spectators “to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans.” Information on how to get a refund will be made available soon, the organizers added.
“We will continue to do our utmost to deliver a safe and secure Games,” they said, “in the hopes that the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be a light of hope for people all over the world.”