Fading Support For The 2021 Tokyo Games

Japan’s citizens would rather see the Games not take place.

With less than 11 weeks before the start of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, nine Japanese Governors believe the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games should be cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is not exactly a ringing endorsement from the governors. Tokyo has been in a state of emergency since April 25th as cases have risen. The city will be in an emergency mode until May 11th. But to put that into perspective, Japan as a country has reported fewer positive cases on a daily basis than some American states such as Florida. The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said the state of emergency which is in place would not affect the Games. The Games Must Go On has been an Olympic mantra since 1972 no matter what the IOC faces. National polling in Japan does not look good for the Games either. In April, more than 70 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted the Games to be cancelled or delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, Japan’s government decided it would not be prudent to allow foreign spectators at Olympic and Paralympic events. The government released a statement “during the meeting, the IOC and the IPC were informed about the conclusion of the Japanese parties not to allow entry into Japan for overseas spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the prevailing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.” COVID-19 has not gone away but Japan will allow just Olympic athletes and staff to enter country. The United States has not decided if it will send a team to Tokyo. But the IOC and the Japan government are moving ahead. The Games Must Go On.

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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)