Overseas athletes will now be allowable to enter Japan before the Tokyo Olympics, in a change the Japanese Government hopes will help the arrangements of home stars. It is predictable that the B. League and the V-League Japan’s top local basketball and volleyball competitions will be among the first to license foreign players ahead of their time openers in October.
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Rendering to Kyodo News, this decision was made to help Japanese players get the best groundwork likely before Tokyo Olympic, by allowing the highest level of competition in their leagues. In the V-League, teams are permitted to have a maximum of one foreign player outdoor of Asia, while in the B. League, six of the ten number leaders were from abroad.
These included American Davante Gardner leading the points per game table, and his compatriot Jack Cooley who scored more rebounds per game than any other player. Other sports expected to allow foreign players include the nation’s table tennis T-League, rugby’s Top League, and professional golf.
These changes were made contempt the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021 and paused generous activity worldwide. Operating bodies and sports associations will be asked to be responsible for implementing COVID-19 prevention measures.
Foreign athletes will be required to provide results of multiple COVID-19 tests before sendoff their countries and upon arrival in Japan. They will also need to isolation for 14 days after arriving in Japan and will have to submit their movement plans within the country.
The Government is reportedly using the readmission of foreign athletes as a way of testing the effectiveness of immigration control procedures ahead of the postponed Olympics and Paralympics. Japan currently denies entry to residents from dozens of countries but this presents a clear problem with Tokyo Olympic imminent.
Japan’s football top flight, the J-League, and the Nippon Expert Baseball league have both been using foreign athletes in their rivalries but only those who were in the country before the Government barred the entry of foreign nationals.