Olympic news: Sapporo Covid-19 crisis but a pre-Olympic event to be held

Olympic news: Sapporo Covid-19 crisis but a pre-Olympic event to be held

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis shows no sign of abating in Japan. Indeed, even if a decrease emerges suddenly, it only appears that a new wave will follow based on the slow vaccination program in Japan. Therefore, despite Sapporo reaching a record daily high of coronavirus infections on May 2, a pre-Olympic event will still be held in the same city on May 5.

Bizarrely, May 5 is the same day that local government officials in Sapporo will request the central government to implement a pre-emergency measure. This is aimed at stemming the latest coronavirus crisis to hit Sapporo. Thus on the one hand new measures will be aimed at stemming the crisis. Yet, on the other hand, the Hokkaido-Sapporo Marathon Festival is scheduled to take place on the same day.

The marathon was deemed dangerous to be held in Tokyo because late July and early August often lead to heatstroke fatalities. Hence, the milder climate of northern Japan was chosen. However, the coronavirus crisis is the hardest obstacle to overcome for Japan – and internationally.

Yet, with Sapporo reaching a new high of 246 new coronavirus infections on May 2, it seems bizarre to hold the pre-Olympic event on May 5. Thus local people are baffled by the response of Olympic organizers in ignoring the current coronavirus crisis in Sapporo.

Lee Jay Walker says, “In the last six months the death toll from coronavirus in Japan keeps on increasing compared with the earlier period in 2020. Similarly, record daily high infections and new variants are more problematic for Japan in the same time period. Therefore, it is strange that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike are adamant that the Olympics and Paralympics will go ahead without even considering the alternative option.”

Overall, the latest Sapporo and pre-Olympic event fiasco sum up the coronavirus crisis in Japan. It is being handled – just like the vaccination program – in a shoddy way. In other words, the voices of the majority in Japan are being ignored because the Olympics and Paralympics are not wanted under the prevailing conditions.

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis

https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics

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