business is booming for interior decorators: “We work for the one-half of the one-half of the 1 percent.”

Lives Lived: After a failed documentary project, Sharon Matola found herself in Belize looking after a jaguar, two macaws and 18 other half-tamed animals. The zoo she established there became a popular attraction, and Matola an outspoken advocate for animals. She died at 66.

Tokyo Olympics are set to begin in July, with the Paralympics scheduled to start in August. Years of planning — and billions in television dollars — mean Olympic organizers are keen to hold the event without postponing again.

But polling in Japan has trended strongly against the Games, as Motoko Rich and Hikari Hida report in The Times. Thousands of athletes and other participants will be heading to Tokyo, and less than 1 percent of Japan’s population has been vaccinated, CNBC reports. The country’s experience of the pandemic has been comparatively mild, with the level of infections and deaths far below that of the United States or Europe. But that’s not guaranteed to continue.

Though organizers have said that vaccinations will not be mandatory, the International Olympic Committee will supply vaccines for any competitors who need them. Some countries, like India and Hungary, are prioritizing Olympic athletes for vaccinations at home. Organizers are also barring spectators from overseas, and cheering is forbidden at the Olympic torch relay, which kicked off in Fukushima Prefecture last month.

One thing that is staying the same: The Games will still be called Tokyo 2020, reflected in heaps of T-shirts, mugs, signage and other branded merchandise.

slice of Florida lime pie.

People in their 20s and 30s are turning to Botox. Why?

“Shiva Baby,” a tense comedy about a young woman at the shiva of a family friend, mixes “big laughs with gut-wrenching discomfort,” Jason Bailey writes in a review.

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Why ‘Cursed’ Olympics Are Pressing Ahead Amid a Pandemic

The organizers scrapped their first logo after plagiarism accusations. The president of Japan’s Olympic Committee was indicted on corruption charges related to the bidding process. Out of fears of extreme heat in Tokyo, the I.O.C. moved the marathon to Sapporo, on Japan’s northern island, 500 miles from the Olympic Stadium.

Taro Aso, the country’s finance minister, has described the Tokyo Olympics as “cursed.”

For Japan, the prospect of recouping its costs has grown only more distant, after the Tokyo organizing committee said on Saturday that it would not allow foreign spectators. Without these visitors, there is now little upside for hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions.

The organizers say that their focus is primarily on safety, and that they have earmarked $900 million in spending on measures to combat the virus. They have watched in recent weeks as other major sporting events — the Australian Open, the N.C.A.A. men’s and women’s basketball tournaments — have gone ahead. For the Games, some countries are pushing Olympians to the front of the vaccination line, and the I.O.C. has agreed to supply Chinese vaccines for those who need one.

The organizers say vaccination will not be mandatory, however, and many athletes, delegates and others will be coming from places where vaccines are unlikely to be fully available. Japan itself will not start vaccinations for those over 65 until next month, and there has been no indication that athletes will be prioritized.

Infections and deaths in Japan have never spiraled to the levels seen in the United States or Europe, but the country is still recording more than 1,000 new infections each day and dozens of deaths. The Tokyo region was under a state of emergency until Sunday, and the country’s borders remain closed to most overseas visitors.

With more contagious and perhaps deadlier variants circulating around the globe, epidemiologists warn that the Tokyo Olympics have the potential to turbocharge the virus’s spread.

Controlling the pathogen will be “almost close to mission impossible,” said Dr. Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease specialist at Kobe University Hospital. “Canceling the Olympic Games would be much easier.”

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Overseas spectators are barred from the Tokyo Olympics.

TOKYO — Spectators from overseas will not be allowed to attend the Summer Olympics in Japan, organizers said on Saturday, making a major concession to the realities of Covid-19 even as they forged ahead with plans to hold the world’s largest sporting event.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo organizing committee, promised at a news conference on Saturday that the lack of international spectators would not spoil the Games.

“The Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different from the past, but the essence remains the same,” Ms. Hashimoto said. “Athletes will put everything on the line and inspire people with their outstanding performances.”

The Tokyo Games, which begin in July, were originally scheduled for 2020 but were delayed by a year because of the pandemic. The Tokyo organizing committee has been scrambling to develop safety protocols to protect both participants and local residents from the virus.

announced this month that China had offered to provide vaccinations for participants who required one ahead of the Games.

But not all local spectators will have the chance to be inoculated before the Olympics open on July 23. In Japan, where the vaccine rollout has been relatively slow, the population will not be close to fully vaccinated by the time the Games start.

Japan has had about 455,000 Covid-19 cases and 8,797 deaths during the pandemic, far fewer than in the United States and Western Europe, according to a New York Times database. The country declared a widespread state of emergency in early January after a rise in infections. Since then, most areas have lifted the declaration. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced this week that it would end in Tokyo on Sunday.

As part of its efforts to stop the spread of new, more infectious variants of Covid-19, Japan has also barred all new entries into the country from abroad since late December, excepting Olympic athletes and some of their entourages. The exception has been contentious: Foreign students and workers are still unable to enter the country, and the foreign ministry has not given any clear indications as to when that might change.

Regardless of the opposition, officials plan to officially kick off the countdown to the Games on Thursday with the torch relay, starting in Fukushima. As with the events this summer, the number of spectators will be limited.

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Spectators From Overseas to Be Barred From Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO—Spectators from overseas will be barred from attending the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, organizers of the event said, a drastic move to reduce the possibility of the spread of the coronavirus at the Games and boost tepid support for the event among Japanese.

The Tokyo Games are set to open on July 23, a year later than planned after the pandemic forced a delay. A decision on spectator levels for those in Japan will be made in April, the local organizers said.

Tickets sold to overseas spectators will be refunded, the organizers said. Around 600,000 tickets have been sold to people based outside Japan and about 4 million to people in Japan.

“Our first priority was, is and remains the safety of all participants of the Olympic Games, and of course the Japanese people to whom we owe so much respect,” International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said.

Japan has been far less affected than the U.S. and many western countries by the coronavirus, with fewer than 9,000 deaths. The spread of new variants of the virus has deepened concern in Japan that an influx of visitors for the Olympics could accelerate Covid-19 cases.

Public opinion polls have consistently shown a large majority of Japanese would prefer the Games to be postponed again or canceled rather than held this year. Worries about the spread of the virus are the top concern.

Japan has only just begun its vaccine rollout, but organizers of the Games have said they would have sufficient social distancing and hygiene measures to control the spread of the virus.

The organizers didn’t say what would happen to the refunded tickets, but they could allow for overall spectator levels at the event to be lowered to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Any reduction in ticket revenue would be a blow to the Japanese organizers, who have budgeted on receiving over $800 million from ticket sales.

Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto said the local organizers aren’t intending to cover cancellation fees for any flights and accommodation booked by overseas spectators. He also said that guests of sponsors of the Games might be able to attend the event if they are involved in helping with Olympic operations, but not if they are solely spectators.

Japan has pushed to save the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer. WSJ’s Alastair Gale reports from Tokyo. (Published Feb. 5, 2021) Photo: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

Events leading up to the Games are scheduled to begin March 25 with the start of the Olympic torch relay around Japan that will end with the opening ceremony. The buildup to the Games has been overshadowed in recent weeks by the resignation of the president of Tokyo 2020 and the creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies following sexist remarks.

New Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said a recent modest uptick in new virus cases in Japan contributed to the move to bar spectators coming from abroad for the Games. “In order to make sure that we do not create a burden on the medical system we had to make this decision,” Ms. Hashimoto said.

The agreement was completed at a meeting between Mr. Bach, Ms. Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympic minister, the governor of Tokyo and the chief of the International Paralympic Committee. It had been expected after government officials told major Japanese media recently they would block spectators from abroad.

Write to Alastair Gale at alastair.gale@wsj.com

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Spectators From Overseas Are Barred From Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO — Spectators from overseas will not be allowed to attend the Summer Olympics in Japan, organizers said on Saturday, making a major concession to the realities of Covid-19 even as they forged ahead with plans to hold the world’s largest sporting event.

The Tokyo Games, which begin in July, were originally scheduled for 2020 but were delayed by a year because of the pandemic. The Tokyo organizing committee has been scrambling to develop safety protocols to protect both participants and local residents from the virus. Concern has been running high in Japan, with big majorities saying in polls that the Games should not be held this summer.

The decision, which the Tokyo organizers made jointly with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the national and local governments in Japan, had been foreshadowed in the Japanese media for weeks.

Thomas Bach, the president of the I.O.C., has encouraged national organizing committees to secure vaccines for athletes, and he announced this month that China had offered to provide vaccinations for participants who required one ahead of the Games.

vaccine rollout has been relatively slow, the population will not be close to fully vaccinated by the time the Games start.

The organizing committees will now have the enormous headache of arranging refunds for ticket buyers. In bidding for the Games, the Tokyo organizers said that 7.8 million tickets would be made available. Typically, about 10 to 20 percent of Olympic tickets go to international spectators.

Japanese fans could take up some of the slack. Local demand for tickets far outstripped the supply, at least before the pandemic.

The coronavirus has had a comparatively muted effect on Japan, which has had far fewer cases and deaths than the United States and Western Europe. The country has reported just over 8,700 Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

Japan declared a widespread state of emergency in early January after a rise in infections. Since then, most areas have lifted the declaration. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced this week that it would be ended in Tokyo.

a superfan who has attended 15 Olympics, bought about $8,600 in tickets for the Tokyo Games for himself and his nephew.

They were looking forward to seeing beach volleyball, archery, fencing, diving and a men’s basketball game and had tickets for the closing ceremony. According to terms from CoSport, the broker that handled ticket sales for U.S.-based fans, customers will not be repaid for some fees — which Mr. Brown said could cost him about $1,200 — and refunds could take time.

“Since we are being barred, it is only right for them to make everyone whole and refund all of the money paid,” Mr. Brown said before the official announcement was made. What’s more, he said, after waiting a whole year, he wanted his refund quickly. “It would be real painful watching this at home on TV and knowing they have the money, and not knowing when you’re going to get it back.”

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