Tokyo Olympics 2021 in Danger As Poll Shows Majority of Japanese People Want Multi-Sporting Event Cancelled Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases
The Tokyo Olympics 2021 could be delayed further after a poll report showed nearly 60% of people in Japan want the Olympics to be cancelled as the country grapples to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The Olympic Games was initially scheduled to be held in July last year but had to be postponed for a year due to the pandemic. The event is now set to be held in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8. But with the pandemic not looking to stop and the public health sector in Japan starring at a potential crisis, the majority of the Japanese people want either the Olympics 2021 to be postponed or cancelled completely. Naomi Osaka Conflicted Over Holding the Tokyo Olympics.
According to a report from The Guardian, a survey conducted between May 7 and May 9 by the Japanese publication Yomiuri Shimbun revealed 59% of people wanted the Olympics cancelled while the remaining 39% felt the Games should go ahead as per schedule. The report also adds that of the 39% of people who wished for the Olympics 2021 to go ahead, 23% want it to be staged without spectators. While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government have banned foreign spectators from travelling to Japan for the event, the Japanese government is yet to take a call on local spectators. Tokyo Olympics: ‘Focussed’ Abhishek Verma Keeping Distractions Away as He Sets Eyes on Medal.
The pandemic situation in Japan is reportedly getting worse and the government have extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and in other regions until the end of May. But notwithstanding the worsening situation in the country, the IOC and the Olympics organisers have insisted for the Olympics be held on schedule. The organisers have also assured that safety measures will be put into place for all athletes and the Japanese people.
The report from The Guardian adds that amid the growing concerns over the COVID-19 situation in the country, the IOC and the Japanese government have been issuing contradictory messages to the public. John Coates, the IOC vice-president, said last week that the Japanese Prime Minister has said to US President that while there were concerns among the general public, the Olympic Games would go ahead as planned.
But Japan PM, Yoshihide Suga has affirmed that the IOC will have the final say in staging the 2021 Olympics. He has also stated his government will prioritise the health of the public over the Olympics. “I’ve never put the Olympics first. My priority has been to protect the lives and health of the Japanese population. We must first prevent the spread of the virus,” the Japan PM was quoted as saying before a parliamentary committee when asked if the Olympic Games 2021 will go ahead despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has also raised concerns over holding the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. “Of course I want the Olympics to happen, but I think there’s so much important stuff going on, especially the past year,” Osaka, World No 2, told the media ahead of the Italian Open. “A lot of unexpected things have happened. For me, I feel like if it’s putting people at risk … then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is as of right now. At the end of the day, I’m just an athlete, and there is a whole pandemic going on, so, yeah.”
(The above story first appeared on Scoop Buddy on May 10, 2021 02:27 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website scoopbuddy.com).