Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo post record Covid-19 highs concerning the Olympics
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The convulsions of the Tokyo Olympics and new daily coronavirus (Covid-19) highs in Tokyo – and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama – aren’t a coincidence. It was a disaster waiting to happen. However, for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and privileged athletes the health of the people of Japan was always secondary.
Even the recent state of emergencies covering Tokyo by the Suga administration and endorsed by Koike – bar minor differences – appear to be aimed at protecting the Olympics. Hence, unlike the former leader Shinzo Abe who provided economic support during the early part of the coronavirus crisis in Japan, it seems that Suga can only find more money for the Olympics rather than ordinary citizens in Japan.
Tokyo confirmed its highest daily number of coronavirus infections of 3,177 despite no dramatic increase in PCR testing. On the contrary, the promised number of higher PCR testing by Koike never materialized. Therefore, the ratio of infections is extremely high in Tokyo.
The neighboring prefectures of Tokyo all announced new daily highs. This applies to Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. Daily infection numbers were 1,051 in Kanagawa, 870 in Saitama, and 577 in Chiba.
Other prefectures announced new highs. Meanwhile, a fresh upturn is happening once more in Aichi, Hyogo, Kyoto, Osaka, and other parts of Japan. Hence, the combination of Suga and Koike supporting the Olympics and allowing vast numbers of people entering Japan – attending parties with the IOC – and other negative perceptions mean that many people no longer listen to their collective stay-at-home messages or do telework if possible. Instead, people need to fend for themselves. Therefore, many people are now responding to the ongoing coronavirus crisis in a more blase manner, in line with the Olympic misadventure that is spreading the coronavirus – mentally, psychologically, and literally.
Modern Tokyo Times yesterday said, “Internal flights were packed during the bank holiday break last week. Similarly, vast numbers of people internationally have come to Japan concerning the Olympics. Hence, it is like people are turning to a normal way of life concerning the actions of the political elites.”
Shigeru Omi, Suga’s leading health expert on the coronavirus, warned about the dangers in advance. Omi said, “The medical system has already started becoming more strained.”
The Delta variant (first known in India) is more infectious and the fear is that new variants may further entrench themselves in Japan. However, Suga and Koike are adamant that the Olympics are going “smoothly” because they can’t see the real impact on people already struggling.
The current increase was all too predictable. Despite this, Suga, Koke, the IOC, and privileged athletes have all closed their eyes.
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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