Tokyo Olympics and dithering: Covid-19 increasing again in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics and dithering: Covid-19 increasing again in Tokyo

Sawako Utsumi and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

The unpopular Tokyo Olympic countdown is three weeks away. However, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) can’t decide if any internal spectators are allowed. Therefore, despite coronavirus (Covid-19) cases increasing again in Tokyo, Suga and others are still dithering about the Olympics that will be remembered for putting business and prestige first over the desire of the majority of people in Japan.

Foreign spectators were banned several months ago. Yet international political elites, people connected to IOC members, and the usual cronyism means special exemptions are allowed per usual. However, the government of Japan, Koike, the IOC, and others hope that a set number of people in Japan will be able to watch the Olympics at all scheduled venues.

Suga fully understands that the Olympics are unpopular because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Japan and internationally. Indeed, the new coronavirus variant first witnessed in India is now spreading in parts of Japan. Hence, fears persist that more infections and deaths will follow in the path of the Olympics.

Suga said, “I have made clear that having no spectators is a possibility… We will take steps as we prioritize the safety and security of the people.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “Suga, Koike, and the IOC keep on mentioning safety. Yet nobody can guarantee this. Thus the only safety angle is to cancel the Olympics. However, this was taken off the table by the same elites who refused to listen to the concerns of the medical profession in Japan.”

CBS reports, “If the state of emergency in Tokyo is not lifted on July 11, the current plan to allow a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at Olympic events would be reduced by half, and the government could go further.”

Overall, the state of emergency and quasi measures are not erasing the coronavirus from Tokyo and other parts of Japan. Instead, the numbers go down during the state of emergency and then gradually increase in Tokyo once quasi measures are re-introduced. Hence, while Tokyoites are worried about work and reduced wages – and loss of jobs – and another state of emergency because of the Indian variant spreading – the IOC, Suga, and Koike are fixated on holding the Olympics at all costs.


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