(CNN) Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said on Monday that he is "very, very confident" spectators will be able to attend next year's postponed Tokyo Games.
With the Olympics due to begin on July 23, Bach said he is hopeful that an effective vaccine -- if there is one -- will allow the Games to proceed as close to normal as possible in a "post-coronavirus world."
"In order to protect the Japanese people, and out of respect for the Japanese people, the IOC will undertake a great effort so that ... the Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here vaccinated, if by then a vaccine is available," Bach, who was meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, said in Tokyo.
He told reporters: "This makes us also very, very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympic Stadium next year, and that also the spectators will ensure a safe environment."
However, Bach denied that it would be mandatory for athletes, officials or fans to be vaccinated before being able to participate in the Games.
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