Olympic news: Japanese Communist Party says IOC treating Japan as a colony
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Chairperson of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), Kazuo Shii, strongly condemned the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This concerns comments by the IOC that the Olympics will take place in Japan irrespective of whatever the internal coronavirus (Covid-19) situation is.
In recent weeks, new highs of daily coronavirus infections have occurred from Osaka to Hokkaido. Similarly, new highs of serious cases have been recorded in the last few days throughout Japan. Hence, with new variants making increasing inroads, it is clear that Japan faces a serious coronavirus crisis because the vast majority of deaths have occurred in the last six months.
Shii said, in response to the IOC saying the games will not be canceled, that the IOC is “treating Japan like a colony of the IOC empire.”
The JCP is known to have 300,000 committed members throughout the country. In recent important elections, approximately 4.5 million people voted for this party. Thus, in the House of Representatives, they hold 12 of the 465 seats. This compares to 13 out of 245 seats in the House of Councillors. In total, this equates to 7.9 and 8.95 percent of the vote in both respective chambers. Therefore, with recent highs of over 10 percent of the vote in both chambers in the last 7 years, the communist party remains important in Japan.
Many people have died at home from coronavirus in Hyogo and Osaka in recent weeks. This is because of medical shortages and hospitals being overstretched in several parts of Japan. However, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and the IOC still deem the Olympics to be the main priority.
At a time of medical shortages, people dying at home from coronavirus, and new coronavirus strains entering Japan, it seems outrageous that medical staff will cater for the Olympics. It is equally outrageous that the IOC is adamant that the Olympics will not be canceled under any scenario. Therefore, the IOC declared that the Olympics can be held even during the State of Emergency.
Comments by IOC members, including John Coates and Dick Pound, have been rude to an extreme. For example, Coates said that the Olympics can be held during the State of Emergency. Likewise, Pound implied that the opinion of Suga doesn’t count because the Olympics will be held irrespective of what the leader of Japan thinks.
Shii said, “Those comments are out of line and we cannot overlook them. … They indicate that holding the Olympics has priority over Japanese people’s lives.”
Shii, clearly irritated at a press conference, uttered, “Who on earth do they think they are? What gives them the authority to say such things? Those comments could lead to an infringement on Japan’s sovereignty.”
Therefore, even if the Olympics are held, it is time for Suga and Koike to condemn certain comments by important IOC members.
The huge costs of the Olympics, hospitals under enormous strains, and increasing hardship for many in Japan – along with the coronavirus crisis in Japan being worse now than last year – means the Olympics are unimportant for the majority given the prevailing conditions. Indeed, with over 3.5 million international coronavirus deaths and more variants spreading throughout the world, it renders the games to be nothing more than a privileged event that takes precedence over important issues.
Thus, shame on the IOC, Suga, and Koike for remaining focused on such a trivial event. This compares to the health of ordinary people and the economic stresses being felt by vast numbers of people in Japan – and internationally.
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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