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Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics 2021 Discussion Thread

What is your take: should the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics be held in 2021 or not?

  • Yes, they should go ahead as scheduled (July 2021).

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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salyavin

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even after he left he made another comment that made the news somehow.
 

thomas

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thomas

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With the Olympics approaching and the coronavirus far from being under control, the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee faces mounting opposition. The call for 500 nurses and 200 sports doctors to help out with the games sparked ire among health professionals. One hospital in Tachikawa has put anti-Olympic slogans on its windows:

For Masaya Takahashi, whose hospital is under strain from COVID-19 patients, the last straw came when he heard the government was calling for doctors and nurses to volunteer for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. So, the head of Tachikawa Sogo Hospital, in Tokyo’s Tachikawa, posted messages on his windows, saying enough is enough. “Medical capacity has reached its limits. Stop the Olympics!” one sign says. Another pleads, “Give us a break. The Olympics are impossible!” The hospital, which has been accepting COVID-19 patients, decided to publicly express its concerns that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics might spread infections further while medical capacity is overstretched due to surging cases.

Less than 80 days before the opening ceremony a new petition received almost 250,000 signatures in a little over 24 hours (I signed it, too):

stop-the-olympics.jpg




And the Tokyo visit of Mr Bach ("Baron Von Ripper-off", see article below) on 17 May does not seem to be so certain anymore. I assume that many Japanese would agree with the Washington Post:

Japan should cut its losses and tell the IOC to take its Olympic pillage somewhere else
 

mdchachi

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I just feel bad for the actual Olympians. Many of their lives are aimed towards this one moment. So in that sense, I hope they can pull it off.
 

Uncle Frank

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Imagine working all your life towards competing and you know you won't be able to go to the winter games , so you're screwed.
Maggie Jinzhan GIF by Jin
 

thomas

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I sympathise with the athletes, but I also sympathise with those who have lost family members and friends in the pandemic and with the millions who lost their jobs and income. The official numbers in Japan show no sign of declining, and only 1.6% of the Japanese population have been vaccinated so far. Holding mass events under such circumstances is nothing short of irresponsible.
 

Uncle Frank

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Looking at India and the mess there now should put the fear of God into some people. I think poverty and jammed in masses of poor people had an affect there though.
 

mdchachi

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I sympathise with the athletes, but I also sympathise with those who have lost family members and friends in the pandemic and with the millions who lost their jobs and income. The official numbers in Japan show no sign of declining, and only 1.6% of the Japanese population have been vaccinated so far. Holding mass events under such circumstances is nothing short of irresponsible.
Assuming they will all have been vaccinated and will be required to have a negative test before coming to Japan, I'd feel safer in Olympic Village than a crowded Tokyo commuter train.
 

thomas

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Assuming they will all have been vaccinated and will be required to have a negative test before coming to Japan, I'd feel safer in Olympic Village than on a crowded Tokyo commuter train.

That was the latest on the subject by the IOC, and, by extension, the Japanese government:

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach reiterated Friday that vaccination for the coronavirus will not be a requirement for athletes competing at the Tokyo Games following concerns about the slow pace of the vaccine rollout in Japan.


Some countries have decided to vaccinate their athletes which would be the smart thing to do:



Here's an interesting piece by the FT that describes the dilemma the J-gov is facing. Even if the Games will be held, they will be a joyless exercise:

But the third and perhaps most demoralising problem with treating the games as something necessary is that they become just that: a joyless chore rather than the soaring festival of achievement, ambition and togetherness the Olympics can be, at their best. The language of the preparations - with their solemn commitments to safety, the high likelihood of no live spectators and the onerous limitations on athletes visiting one of the world’s most exciting cities - feels redacted of any explanation of how all this is going to be enjoyable.

Japan presses ahead with its great Olympics gamble
 

mdchachi

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Yes bad luck indeed that they landed these particular Olympics. All those bribes to the IOC members to get 2020 were basically for nothing. :cautious:
 

Petaris

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I have not followed the Olympics much for a number of years now. Too commercialized and too many viewing restrictions and other silly things going on. This goes for other sports like baseball in the US as well, you can't even see the local team play unless you buy a ticket for an insane amount. I'm not a huge sports fan anyway but none of this helps.

I used to enjoy watching the figure skating, skiing, and swimming parts of the Olympics.
 

mdchachi

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Each country focuses on the sports they do well in. If you watch the Olympics in the U.S. you'd probably not even realize that sports like judo or equestrian are included.
 

Lothor

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This article is an eye-opener, predicting that Yuriko Koike, Tokyo's governer, is about to call for the games to be cancelled.

 

thomas

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Very interesting! When will she break the news?

Meanwhile, the IOC show their true face:

"We listen but won't be guided by public opinion," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, adding "everything is telling us ... that the games can go ahead and will go ahead." Adams stood in for his boss, IOC president Thomas Bach, whose planned visit to Japan next week was called off Monday after states of emergency in Tokyo and other regions were extended through May.


And some of the sponsors are getting nervous, too:

A top executive of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games sponsor Toyota Motor Corp. said officials of the company felt “conflicted” over the desire to see the Olympics succeed and public concerns about holding the event during a pandemic. “As sponsors, it breaks our heart to see public discontent aimed at athletes,” the automaker’s operating officer, Jun Nagata, told an earnings briefing on Wednesday. “To be honest, we are conflicted every day over what the best course of action is.”

 

Lothor

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I read the second article and thought "public discontent aimed at athletes" was a bit disingenuous!
 

thomas

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I read the second article and thought "public discontent aimed at athletes" was a bit disingenuous!

Agreed. Not as courageous as Takarajimasha the other day.

takarajimasha.jpg


 

thomas

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Not that it will change anything, but today the petition to cancel Tokyo 2020 (see above) was submitted to the Tokyo municipal government with 351,868 signatures.

change-org-petition.jpg


The online petition titled "Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives" was launched on May 5 by Kenji Utsunomiya, a lawyer and former candidate for Tokyo governor. It has gathered signatures from people in Japan and 130 other countries faster than any previous petition on Change.org's platform in Japan, which Utsunomiya said "reflects public opinion" on the issue. Polls consistently show a majority of Japanese oppose holding the Games this year, favouring either a further delay or cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic. "I think the Olympics this time is about whether we prioritize life or a ceremony and event called the Olympics," Utsunomiya told reporters. He called on Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike to ask the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to cancel the Games. "The IOC holds the right to make a decision on whether to cancel, but Tokyo, as the host city, should urge the IOC to cancel," he said. The petition is also being sent to the IOC and International Paralympic Committee as well as local organizers and the national government.

 

thomas

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Mr Coates latest statements in a virtual news conference with Tokyo organizers prompted a media backlash in Japan. He made it clear that the IOC would go ahead with the Olympics even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency and local medical experts advised against holding the games.

At least, he leaves no doubts about the IOC's priorities.

According to several polls, about 60-80% of Japanese preferred to either postpone or cancel Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners’ Association called for a cancellation in letters sent to the prime minister, the Tokyo governor, and other officials last week.

Just to illustrate the dimensions: Tokyo 2020 will draw some 15,000 athletes, plus 78,000 "stakeholders" (members of national and international federations, family members, the media pool, as well as television rights holders), so at least 93,000 overseas travellers visiting in the middle of a pandemic while currently less than 4% of the population are inoculated. Only 18,000 of them will be accommodated at (and restricted to) the Olympic Village.


 

Lothor

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Mr Coates latest statements in a virtual news conference with Tokyo organizers prompted a media backlash in Japan. He made it clear that the IOC would go ahead with the Olympics even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency and local medical experts advised against holding the games.

At least, he leaves no doubts about the IOC's priorities.

According to several polls, about 60-80% of Japanese preferred to either postpone or cancel Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners’ Association called for a cancellation in letters sent to the prime minister, the Tokyo governor, and other officials last week.

Just to illustrate the dimensions: Tokyo 2020 will draw some 15,000 athletes, plus 78,000 "stakeholders" (members of national and international federations, family members, the media pool, as well as television rights holders), so at least 93,000 overseas travellers visiting in the middle of a pandemic while currently less than 4% of the population are inoculated. Only 18,000 of them will be accommodated at (and restricted to) the Olympic Village.


Mr Coates latest statements in a virtual news conference with Tokyo organizers prompted a media backlash in Japan. He made it clear that the IOC would go ahead with the Olympics even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency and local medical experts advised against holding the games.

At least, he leaves no doubts about the IOC's priorities.

According to several polls, about 60-80% of Japanese preferred to either postpone or cancel Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners’ Association called for a cancellation in letters sent to the prime minister, the Tokyo governor, and other officials last week.

Just to illustrate the dimensions: Tokyo 2020 will draw some 15,000 athletes, plus 78,000 "stakeholders" (members of national and international federations, family members, the media pool, as well as television rights holders), so at least 93,000 overseas travellers visiting in the middle of a pandemic while currently less than 4% of the population are inoculated. Only 18,000 of them will be accommodated at (and restricted to) the Olympic Village.


Has there really been a media backlash in Japan, as you said? With five large media groups among the Olympics it seems unlikely. I hope you prove me wrong!
 

thomas

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Has there really been a media backlash in Japan, as you said? With five large media groups among the Olympics it seems unlikely. I hope you prove me wrong!

Hopefully, more than just wishful thinking here in my little bubble, but we saw a panel discussion on TBS this afternoon that was very critical of Coates' remarks. And rightly so. Other channels reported in a similar fashion (not NHK though).
 

thomas

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In fact, I have been quite surprised lately to see many news programmes that are pretty frank and outspoken in lambasting the powers that be. Also, this afternoon TBS aired a heartbreaking feature on that Sri Lankan lady that died in immigration custody.
 

Lothor

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In fact, I have been quite surprised lately to see many news programmes that are pretty frank and outspoken in lambasting the powers that be. Also, this afternoon TBS aired a heartbreaking feature on that Sri Lankan lady that died in immigration custody.
I've also been surprised to see this sudden outpouring of sympathy by the media for a mere gaijin. There may be more to this than meets the eye.
 

thomas

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I've also been surprised to see this sudden outpouring of sympathy by the media for a mere gaijin. There may be more to this than meets the eye.

Agreed. My better half was livid after watching the feature, and it's not that often we're on the same page as far as politics are concerned. :)
 
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