Crowds were permitted to watch the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu and the Japanese Government has now lifted its 10,000-crowd restriction ©Getty Images

Japan's Government has lifted its 10,000-spectator attendance limit for large-scale events, including major sports.

The restriction was in place in 27 of the country's 47 Prefectures but has now been eased as part of the Government’s efforts to restore social and economic activities following a steady decline in coronavirus cases.

The ban had been in place since June.

It was originally hoped that up to 10,000 fans would be allowed into venues during the rearranged Olympic and Paralympic Games.

But the Government ultimately decided to ban all spectators from visiting events in Tokyo, although some fans were allowed to attend events at Izu Velodrome and some football stadiums located outside the Japanese capital.

Events held across Japan can now have 5,000 spectators or 50 per cent of venue capacity, whichever is larger, with large-scale event spaces allowed to accept more than 10,000 spectators in Tokyo and other regions that were under a state of emergency.

Limited crowds were allowed to attend the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, that concluded in Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture on Sunday (October 31). 

Prefectural Governors can also implement their own policies on spectator limits depending on the situation of infections in their areas.

But only limited cheering and clapping will be allowed at events.

Soccer's J-League will be hoping to play before bigger crowds now that the Japanese Government has lifted its 10,000-spectator limit ©Getty Images
Soccer's J-League will be hoping to play before bigger crowds now that the Japanese Government has lifted its 10,000-spectator limit ©Getty Images

The Yakult Swallows professional baseball club sold tickets beforehand and allowed 14,500 spectators, about half of the capacity at its Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, to the team's final regular season game against the Hiroshima Carp last night.

During the Climax Series playoffs starting later this month, Yakult plans to sell up to around 20,000 tickets per game.

The event has been selected for the Government's programme to test admission of people showing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.

In the country's professional soccer J-League, 10 matches are scheduled for tomorrow, including one between Yokohama F Marinos and Gamba Osaka at Nissan Stadium where the organisers aim to admit around 30,000 fans.

Over 20,000 tickets have been sold for the match at the 72,000-capacity stadium in Yokohama.

The match is expected to draw the largest crowd in the J-League this season.

The Government fully lifted a coronavirus state of emergency on October 1 following a decline in COVID cases.

But the areas that were under the measures had to limit attendance to a maximum of 10,000 for about a month as the Government gradually lifted restrictions.