Foreign Reporters to Be Tracked, ‘Managed’ by GPS at Tokyo Olympics

29th June 1965: A poster with the famous words 'Big Brother is Watching You' from a BBC TV production of George Orwell's classic novel '1984'.
Larry Ellis/Express/Getty

Foreign reporters covering the Tokyo Olympics will be tracked by GPS and their behavior “managed” by organizers, the event president said Tuesday, before adding passes could be “revoked” for any rule infractions.

Organizers say the unprecedented controls on what journalists can cover and where they can go are part of measures to reassure a sceptical Japanese public the mega-event can be held safely while coronavirus continues to ravage the country.

Some 6,000 reporters are expected to visit and cover the Tokyo Olympics, according to AFP, and they must account for their planned movement over their two weeks in Japan, from sports venues to local accommodation.

Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto said tracking technology would be used to make sure they only go where they are supposed to.

“To make sure that people don’t go to places other than the places where they are registered to go, we will use GPS to strictly manage their behaviour,” Hashimoto said before a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting.

Reporters will be urged to stay in designated hotels rather than private lodgings, she added, while athletes will also face tight restrictions on their movements as well as being tested daily for the virus.

Overseas fans have already been banned from attending the event, and organisers will decide later this month how many domestic spectators — if any — can attend in person.

The tight restrictions come as the event struggles to capture the imagination of the host country, with many polls showing the Japanese people want it canceled altogether.

As Breitbart News reported, roughly 10,000 volunteers have also withdrawn their help over concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.

Organizers said they “need 80,000” volunteers to properly run the games, but are “now short 10,000,” Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, reported on June 2.

“The withdrawal of volunteers began in February after then organizing committee chairman Mori Yoshiro came under criticism for his remarks taken as derogatory to women,” NHK noted last Wednesday.

“Even after Mori resigned from the post to take responsibility for his remarks, more volunteers continued to withdraw, citing other factors such as fears of infection [from the Chinese coronavirus] or changes in their own working environment.”

AFP contributed to this story

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