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Last week, Tokyo entered its fourth Covid-19 state of emergency, imposing restrictions that will last throughout the Olympic Games before they expire on August 22nd.
The country is lagging behind in its vaccination efforts – according to estimates by CNN and Bloomberg’s global trackers, around a fifth of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated. After an intensified campaign to get more Japanese people vaccinated, many communities are now limiting vaccination dates in order to maintain a steady supply of vaccines.
Biden isn’t the first president to miss the opening ceremony. Then Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence led the US delegation during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. In 2016, former Foreign Secretary John Kerry traveled to Rio de Janeiro for the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.