The president of the organizing committee of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Seiko Hashimoto, said that the organizers will increase efforts to ensure safety of the Olympic events, Kyodo news agency reported.

On Thursday, the grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, Yasuhiko Nishimura, said that Emperor Naruhito was concerned about holding the Olympics in July as the event was likely to cause a spike in COVID-19 infections.

“We need to make even more efforts to hold safe and peaceful Games,” Hashimoto said in comments on the statements made by the Imperial Household. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, initially scheduled for 2020, were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus crisis, and are currently scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8.

The event will be held without spectators from overseas, while the number of domestic spectators is capped at 10,000 at each venue unless the number exceeds 50% of a venue’s capacity. The authorities are pushing ahead with the sporting event despite public concerns and dismay linked to the pandemic.