The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee said Friday it expects to further cut the number of overseas-based officials and staff permitted to attend to about 53,000, down from the previously reduced figure of about 78,000 and less than one-third of the initial number.
The organizing committee had expected a total of around 180,000 officials and staffers, including media, to travel from overseas prior to last year's one-year coronavirus pandemic-necessitated postponement, but decided to slash the number in a move to make the games safer.
Hidemasa Nakamura, chief of the main operation center of the games, told a press conference that the organizers were able to cut the number of so-called Olympic family members, referring to officials of the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency among others.
The number of officials and staff from abroad may further fall as the games approach in just about a month, Nakamura said after holding discussions with a panel of infectious disease experts.
Over 100 medical workers from overseas have also offered to volunteer at the games, and the committee has been considering where to place them and when to bring them on, Nakamura said.
Last month, IOC President Thomas Bach said extra medical staffers from abroad would be dispatched by national Olympic committees during the games to assist with operations and implementation of COVID-19 countermeasures at the athletes village and venues.
While the possibility that the Olympics may add to the strain on Japan's medical system has been a major public concern, the committee has also secured about 90 percent of doctors and 80 percent of nurses needed to work at the games.
The Tokyo Olympics, which will open on July 23, will be held without spectators from overseas as part of measures to prevent the spread of infections.
The organizing committee has been holding roundtable discussions to review its coronavirus countermeasures.