A man wears a protective mask amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in front of the giant Olympic rings in Tokyo, Japan, Jan 13, 2021. [Photo/Agencies] BEIJING -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to grant accreditation only to those who have essential and operational roles at this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, significantly reducing the number of accredited people at the Games. The decision was made by the IOC's executive board on Friday as it has either canceled or reduced the IOC Guest Programme, invitations to former Olympic athletes and a number of other programmes. It will also not grant accreditation to any accompanying guests in any category. The IOC said the Japanese government required a very significant reduction in the numbers of accredited participants who do not have essential and operational responsibilities for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The IOC added that it had discussed the matter with and received support from all national and regional Olympic committees, as well as all the international federations. "Many of them are already making a big effort to significantly reduce their numbers of accredited people and are also seeking in this respect the guidance and leadership of the IOC," the IOC said in a statement. "IOC members as the ultimate decision-making body of the IOC are playing such an essential and operational role and will attend the Games." As a countermeasure against COVID-19, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee has already barred overseas spectators from entering Japan during the Games, and has also decided not to allow non-Japanese volunteers to serve the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.