Majority of the people in Japan against holding the Tokyo Olympics, but officials say its inevitable

Picture Courtesy: Skynews
Picture Courtesy: Skynews

According to the Nikkei newspaper, 63% of the populace opposes the Olympics being held in Japan.

On May 30, about 3,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported, and while the number has been declining since the middle of May, the public is questioning whether bringing in 90,000 athletes, officials, journalists, and other professionals is the best option.

That would sound odd in the United Kingdom, which is gearing up to host a portion of the Euro 2020 football tournament. However, the Japanese public is hesitant for three reasons.

First, Japan has a far stronger grip on COVID than the rest of the world. Only about 13,000 people have died as a result of the pandemic, and it intends to maintain it that way.

Second, new, more transmissible varieties are arriving, which Japan has mostly avoided.

Third, Japan has taken a cautious approach to vaccine approvals. As a result, for a country with a population of 126.3 million people, just 12 million doses have been provided.

All of them are valid concerns, but they do not meet the IOC's Armageddon criteria. With fewer than two months until the games begin, it is improbable that they will be canceled. Another postponement has been ruled out as well.

Japan is taking steps in this direction. The admission of foreign spectators has already been prohibited. And, as with baseball and football games, stadium capacity will be limited.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, Japanese spectators will be required to show proof of vaccination (which will be difficult to come by given the current situation) or a negative COVID-19 test. There were also rumors that those in attendance would not be allowed to shout or give high-fives.

If the purpose of the audience is to create mood, a displeased audience barred from cheering is unlikely to accomplish so. There's also the possibility that no one will be allowed to attend at all.

To avoid this, the Japanese government will have to reassure the public significantly more effectively than it has done thus far.

Publish : 2021-06-01 11:11:00

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