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Overseas Tokyo ticket holders may get only partial refunds

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, shows tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics displayed in Tokyo. Many fans living outside Japan who bought Tokyo Olympic tickets from middlemen - so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers - will not get full refunds. The question of refunds came into play a week ago when local organizers and the Japanese government decided to bar fans from abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2020, file photo, shows tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics displayed in Tokyo. Many fans living outside Japan who bought Tokyo Olympic tickets from middlemen - so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers - will not get full refunds. The question of refunds came into play a week ago when local organizers and the Japanese government decided to bar fans from abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TOKYO – Many fans living outside Japan who bought tickets for the Tokyo Olympics from brokers — known as Authorized Ticket Resellers — will not get full refunds. And they may have a long wait to get any refunds at all.

The question of refunds came into play a week ago when local organizers and the Japanese government decided to bar most fans from abroad because of the pandemic.

There are dozens of Authorized Tickets Resellers. They are typically appointed by national Olympic committees and are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on tickets. For $2,000 worth of tickets, for instance, the reseller can charge $2,400.

CoSport, the ATR for the United States and other territories and countries, said in a letter over the weekend to ticket holders that it would not refund the handling fee. It said it would refund the face value of the ticket and the shipping fees.

The letter, signed by CoSport president Robert F. Long, said: “CoSport and other Olympic entities encouraged the Japanese government and organizers to refund all cost incurred by international spectators.”

Tokyo organizers have said they would refund the face value of the tickets, but are not responsible for other added charges. They have said they will not cover the extra fees imposed by ATRs, or cancellation fees for hotels or flights.

The New Jersey-based CoSport added that it would not receive refunds from the organizers until "the third quarter of this year” and could not start paying refunds until then.

It has also asked purchasers to apply for refunds almost immediately. It set a deadline of April 9 to submit the required document.