Tokyo Olympics and internal discontent over Covid-19

Tokyo Olympics and internal discontent over Covid-19

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Rumors continue about internal discontent within the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) concerning the holding of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. This is based on the continuing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis and increasing deaths in the first months of 2021. Hence, the current State of Emergency and quasi-emergency in other prefectures covers vast numbers of people in Japan.

The Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike, believed that the coronavirus crisis was containable last year. Yet, with each new State of Emergency, little change is happening because deaths have increased in the last six months in Japan.

Thus the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Koike are unpopular in Japan. After all, parts of Japan, including many hospitals in Osaka and Tokyo, are currently faced with serious medical care issues. Therefore, with home deaths from coronavirus being announced in Hyogo and Osaka because of medical shortages, the Olympics and Paralympics aren’t wanted by the majority of people.

New international variants of coronavirus are spreading to countless nations including Japan. Indeed, the United Kingdom, despite the vaccination program going well, is now concerned about the Indian variant spreading to various parts of the country. Therefore, how can Suga, Koike, and the IOC possibly claim that the Olympics will not become a super spreader event – even if it doesn’t happen?

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “Astonishingly, while people are dying in Osaka and other parts of Japan – and with the elderly, people with low immune systems, and other vulnerable groups waiting to be vaccinated – the IOC, Suga, and Koike deem it fit to vaccinate Japanese athletes first. Therefore, this sums up the terrible priorities of the IOC, Suga, Koike, and athletes who believe they are entitled to enormous privilege.”

Thus internal discontent in the TMG is growing because the coronavirus crisis is not under control. If anything, new coronavirus variants threaten Tokyo just like what is happening in Osaka.

Koike said a few days ago that new coronavirus infections “are not decreasing at all.” Hence, with the games set for late July during the height of the heatstroke season, the clock is ticking. Therefore, more voices in the TMG, within the medical profession, and in several prefectures are emerging in Japan.

Overall, with international coronavirus deaths approaching 3.4 million official deaths – and deaths increasing in Japan in the last six months along with many hospitals under enormous strains – and new variants posing a fresh challenge – then the Olympics seem selfish beyond comprehension.

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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