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(Reuters)A petition calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics which garnered 350,000 signatures in nine days was submitted to organizers on Friday, reflecting growing public opposition to the event as a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections sweeps Japan.

"Stop Tokyo Olympics" campaign organizer Kenji Utsunomiya said the global festival of sport -- already postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic -- should take place only when Japan can welcome visitors and athletes wholeheartedly.
"We are not in that situation and therefore the Games should be canceled," he told a news conference. "Precious medical resources would need to be diverted to the Olympics if it's held."
    The petition was submitted to the Olympic and Paralympic committee chiefs as well as Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
      It came as Japan added three more areas to a state of emergency now covering Tokyo, Osaka and four other prefectures amid surging case numbers, less than three months out from the scheduled July 23 start of the Games.Read MoreHow organizers plan to make the Olympics happenAsked about the anti-Games campaign, Tokyo Governor Koike said she would continue to work towards a "safe and secure" Olympics."Though there is a global pandemic, it is important to hold (a) safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games," she told a regular press conference.The new areas under the state of emergency include Hokkaido prefecture where the Olympic marathon will take place, after the prefecture reported a record high of 712 new coronavirus cases on Thursday.Opposition to the Games has also come from doctors, while some high-profile Japanese athletes have expressed concern, including Masters golf champion Hideki Matsuyama and top women's tennis player Naomi Osaka.Japanese business leader Masayoshi Son, chief of SoftBank Group Corp, added his voice to the chorus of trepidation on Thursday, saying in unusually blunt remarks that he was "afraid" of what might happen if the Games went ahead on schedule.Visit for more news, videos and featuresDozens of towns that had been due to host visiting athletes at pre-Games events have canceled those plans, saying they could not guarantee medical help amid strains on the hospital system.
        With the latest emergency measures, 19 out of Japan's 47 prefectures fall under restrictions that include closures of eateries by 8 p.m. and a ban on alcohol at bars and restaurants.Nationwide, Japan has seen about 656,000 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, with 11,161 deaths.

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        Tags: state of emergency coronavirus cases safe and secure tokyo governor tokyo olympics to the olympic the olympics on thursday

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        Here are the 18 players on the US women's soccer roster headed to Tokyo for the Olympics

        Carli Lloyd (left) and Megan Rapinoe. Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

        • USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski has selected his 18-player roster for the Olympics.
        • Veteran stars Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd will all make the trip to Tokyo.
        • Some younger players were left off the roster, as Andonovski seemingly prioritized experience.
        • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

        The US Women's National Team roster is here.

        Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is bringing some of the best women's soccer players on the planet with him to represent Team USA at this summer's Olympics. And unlike the 2019 World Cup, where former head coach Jill Ellis had 23 athletes at her disposal, Andonovski has room for just 18 players on his roster.

        From left: USWNT stars Lindsey Horan, Christen Press, Alex Morgan, and Crystal Dunn. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

        Here's the group of players heading to Tokyo for the USWNT:

        Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher, Adrianna Franch

        Defenders: Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley O'Hara, Emily Sonnett, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn

        Midfielders: Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Sam Mewis, Kristie Mewis, Rose Lavelle

        Forwards: Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Tobin Heath

        Andonovski appears to have prioritized experience over potential for this squad. His group of forwards — headlined by Carli Lloyd, who will turn 39 during the Olympics — does not feature a single player younger than 30 years old. Meanwhile, up-and-coming stars like defender Midge Purce, midfielder Catarina Macario, and striker Sophia Smith were all left off of the team this time around.

        Midge Purce. AP Photo/John Raoux

        Notably, USWNT mainstays Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz were both named to the roster despite lingering injuries that looked to be threatening their chances of making the trip to Tokyo. Longtime fan-favorite Kristie Mewis will finally make her debut at a major international tournament after years of trying to break through. She'll join her younger sister, superstar Sam Mewis, in the midfield for the USWNT.

        Aside from the younger stars mentioned above, a number of former regulars were cut from the final squad for this summer's Olympics. Goalkeepers Jane Campbell and Ashlyn Harris, defenders Ali Krieger, Casey Krueger, and Alana Cook, forwards Lynn Williams and Mallory Pugh, and midfielder Andi Sullivan all narrowly missed the roster after recent stints with the USWNT.

        Lynn Williams. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

        Campbell, Krueger, Macario, and Williams will serve as alternates in Tokyo. Should one of the 18 players on the main roster need a replacement, one of the four will fill their vacant position.

        The USWNT embarks on its journey to becoming the first team to earn gold directly after winning the World Cup with a grudge match against Sweden July 21. The Swedish national team instantly became one of the USWNT's biggest rivals after booting the stars and stripes from contention early in the 2016 Olympics.

        The US will round out the group stage with games against New Zealand on July 24 and Australia on July 27.

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