The Tokyo Olympic Games are coming up this summer, after a long wait and delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a lot of controversy behind its continuation despite the surge of cases in Japan.
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper conducted a poll. They found that 83% of voters want the Tokyo Olympics to be ‘postponed or scrapped’. What do you think? Should the Tokyo Olympic Games go on?
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- Are the Olympics still happening?
- What does the COVID situation currently look like in Japan?
- Can the games get canceled?
- Links and resources
Are the Olympics still happening?
According to Seiko Hashimoto, the 2020 Tokyo President, the Olympic Games will certainly happen. Although only 14% of Japanese survey respondents support the continuation of the Olympic Games this summer, it will go on.
The games will feature 33 competitions and 339 events across 42 venues. It will kickstart with the opening ceremony on Friday, July 23rd, and end with the closing ceremony on Sunday, August 8.
The Japanese government currently bans international travel, but up to 10,000 Japanese fans will be able to attend the games. Sources are afraid that the Olympics will prompt the spread of another COVID strain if spectators are still permitted.
What does the COVID situation currently look like in Japan?
Source: James Matsumoto/Getty Images
Japan has lagged behind other countries in regard to the distribution of the vaccine.
As of this week, only a little over 8% of the Japanese population is vaccinated, compared to 45% of the U.S. population, according to Our World in Data.
Japan only recently lifted its state of emergency on June 20th, just in time for the Olympics. Japan currently sees an average of approximately 1,500 confirmed cases per day, still rising.
Can the games get canceled?
It is possible but unlikely. If canceled, Japan would lose ¥1.81 trillion, or $16.57 billion, according to a research institution addressed by Kyoto News. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has total control of whether or not the Olympics will go on. As of now, they seem confident that they will continue with it by taking measures such as athlete waivers and limited spectators.