Tokyo Olympics: Official at the JOC aged 52 commits suicide in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics: Official at the JOC aged 52 commits suicide in Tokyo

Sawako Utsumi and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

The holding of the Olympics in Tokyo this year remains largely unpopular because of the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Yet, while members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Tokyo Governor Yoriko Koike appear aloof to genuine concerns of the general public, the toll on ordinary members of Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) must be enormous.

Hence, the apparent suicide of Yasushi Moriya, an official of the JOC, is a grim reminder of the enormous stress and burden of many members of the JOC and workers engaged with the Olympics at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG). Thus people are taking the toll of an unpopular Olympics, working long hours, and facing enormous pressure because of the upper echelons of the JOC and TMG.

After all, the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the mass inoculation program are both problematic by themselves. Yet, with Tokyo holding the Olympics and Paralympics this year then the workload and emotional stresses must be extremely high for all involved.

CNBC reports, “Private broadcaster Nippon Television, citing metropolitan police sources, identified the person as someone who worked in the JOC’s accounting department and said his death was being treated as a suspected suicide.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “One can only imagine the pressure and anguish of Yasushi Moriya before he leaped to his death at the age of 52. Indeed, given the heavy workload and the enormous opposition in Japan against the Olympics, it will be interesting to know if Koike and the JOC are providing greater counseling services to JOC and TMG workers involved with the Olympics during this difficult period?”

Like many thousands of workers who commit suicide every year in Japan, Yasushi Moriya finally couldn’t take any more. Thus, this morning he took his life at the Nakanobu Station when an incoming train on the Asakusa Line entered the station.

An inquiry is needed to see if the JOC and TMG have increased counseling support for people involved in the Olympics and Paralympics.


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