07:44 GMT25 July 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - People protesting against the holding of the Summer Olympic Games have gathered in Tokyo outside the Akasaka Palace, or the State Guest House, which hosts a reception to welcome International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and other officials, media reported on Sunday.

    About 40 people, including Tokyo Games organizing committee chief Seiko Hashimoto, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, have come to the State Guest House to welcome IOC officials five days ahead of the start of the sporting event, the Japanese NHK broadcaster reported.

    The demonstrators, calling for the Games to be canceled, held placards that say "Protect lives rather than the Olympics," the broadcaster added, without specifying the exact number of the participants.

    The rally comes as the Organizing Committee reported earlier in the day the first COVID-19 cases among athletes residing in the Olympic village. Since July 1, the committee has recorded 55 cases of coronavirus among people related to the Games.

    IOC, Olympics, Japan
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