IOC President Thomas Bach made a request for spectators to be allowed to enter events at Tokyo 2020 during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has reportedly asked Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to consider allowing fans at attend events at Tokyo 2020 if there is an improvement in the COVID-19 situation in Japan.

Kyodo News, citing an anonymous Government official, reported Bach made the request during a meeting with Suga here on Wednesday (July 14).

Suga reiterated to Bach that organisers and the Government would examine the possibility of permitting fans to attend events if there was a significant change in the situation, according to Kyodo.

The Games, scheduled to open here on July 23, are set to largely be held behind closed doors in response to the Japanese Government declaring a fourth state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 cases.

Tokyo yesterday recorded 1,308 new COVID-19 infections, the highest tally in the capital for six months - just eight days before the Opening Ceremony.

At least five athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in the Japan for the Games, while the Refugee Olympic Team delayed its travel to Tokyo after one of its delegation also returned a positive test.

Teams from several other nations have been forced into isolation due to COVID-19 issues.

Only 26 competition sessions at the delayed Olympics are due to be held in front of spectators as the ban extends to venues outside of the capital, including Sapporo and Fukushima.

It comes despite spectators being able to attend other sports events, such as baseball and sumo, although organisers believe Olympic events pose a greater risk.

Tokyo 2020 venues will be largely empty during the Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Tokyo 2020 venues will be largely empty during the Olympic Games ©Getty Images

It has also been reported that organisers are considering allowing just 1,000 Olympic and VIPs into the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony.

Bach has claimed there is "zero" risk of participants at the Games spreading COVID-19 to the Japanese public, owing to the countermeasures that are in place in the build-up to and during the event.

The IOC President, the subject of widespread criticism since touching down in the city, claimed yesterday Tokyo 2020 would be the "most restricted sports event ever".

Bach claimed the rules outlined in the playbook - which the IOC and Tokyo 2020 hope will ensure the Games are "safe and secure" - were "working" and "are being enforced".

"They [people in the Olympic Village] know it is in their own interest to be safe," Bach told Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike during a meeting yesterday.

The IOC claim 85 per cent of residents in the Olympic Village will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in time for the Games.

Large sections of the Japanese public have signalled their opposition to the Olympics and Paralympics going ahead, with calls for cancellation a common theme in the lead-up to the opening.

Health experts have warned the Games could become a "super-spreader" event, while Shigeru Omi, the Japanese Government’s top COVID-19 advisor, has warned staging the Olympics during a pandemic is "abnormal".