COVID-19 Cases Rise in Japan, Will the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Continue?

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Photo Courtesy of Danny Choo via Creative Commons

Tokyo, Japan will be the first Asian Country to host the Summer Olympics twice since 1964.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Pending

Since the multiple strands of COVID-19 have been plaguing the earth, sports events risk their continuation. With the Olympics being postponed to this July, there are still concerns of possible cancellation. The Liberal Democratic Party’s No.2 Torisho Nikai says the games will cancel if the virus becomes severe. Nikai says, “We need to cancel it without hesitation if they’re no longer possible.” He continues, “If infection spreads because of the Olympic, I don’t know what the Olympics is for.”

Nikai believes that the games will be an important opportunity to create support and excitement in Japan. Although cases have risen in Osaka three weeks into April, Nikai is concerned about the regards of the fourth wave. As the Olympics is less than 100 days away, officials are considering new restrictions before the event. With the new surge, officials confirm that the torch run will not take place in the Osaka public. Following, another small city in Western Japan has already canceled their public events.

According to npr.org, Anthony Kuhne, Byline mentions economic journalist Tomoyuki Isoyama saying that the Japanese government hopes to recover the income lost in incorporating funds into the 2020 Olympics while boosting their economy in the future. (Photo Courtesy of Ikusuki via Creative Commons)

COVID-19 and Income Accumulate Concerns

While the United States have been making progress with vaccinations, it is not the same for Japan. With only Pfizer/BioTech being approved, vaccines have been slowly distributing throughout the country. Around early February, officials released a 33-page health handbook regarding what to expect and prepare for during the event. Preparing to avoid spread, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Seiko Hashimoto confirms that the games will not be cancelled. As Hashimoto recognizes Nikai’s concerns, a shared poll shows 80% in Japan opposing the continuation of the Olympics.

Regardless of the results, Hashimoto, the International Olympic Committee, and the Tokyo organizers have other things in mind. Since the IOC depends on 73% of the broadcasting rights, their flow of income stalls along with the postponement. According to SportsNet, Japan is already investing 15 billion on the Summer Olympics. With the urge to move forward, fans will not be allowed to attend the Olympics or Paralympics this year. Even though the lack of audience is disappointing, it is crucial to have strict protocols to avoid the spread. Officials ask athletes to be vaccinated before participating, and to regularly test throughout the event. In hopes of considering these new protocols, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will start July 23 to August 8, 2021.

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