There is still a month away from the start of the postponed Tokyo Olympics, and the reality of this event will begin to take root in the capital.
In the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties—epidemics, low public support and one year postponement—Japan will host the second Summer Olympics, the first in 57 years.
Banners and flags with the Tokyo 2020 logo can be seen in various places throughout the city. Earlier this month, traffic around the new Olympic Stadium began to diverge, which is the core of the game that will take place from July 23 to August 8. The torch relay is heading to Tokyo from all over the country.
As the countdown to the Olympic flame continues, residents of the world’s largest metropolis are aware of the writing on the wall. With the firm determination of the Japanese government, the International Olympic Committee and major stakeholders to host the Olympics, the anti-Austrians who have maintained the “no Olympics” trend on Twitter for several months have been defeated.
Although the Japanese government has protested against the cost, the number of viruses, and sensational media reports, the Japanese government still needs to spend about 30 billion U.S. dollars to host the Olympics, but apparently has never seriously considered canceling the Olympics.
The writer Robert Whiting is an expert on Japanese issues. He wrote a book about his time in Japan in Japanese called Two Olympic Games, Realize that it is too late to cancel the Olympics.
“The train has left the station. The window to cancel the Olympics has been closed,” Whiting said. “Unless countries start to withdraw when the fifth wave strikes, we will host the Olympics.”
The image admired by domestic and foreign media is that a large number of athletes, coaches and officials will travel to Japan and contribute to the increase in the number of viruses through their presence and actions.
Watch | Bring into the group: How much impact does COVID-19 have on the Olympics?
What the Olympic organizers here could have done better is to educate the public and the media about the unconventional preventive measures taken for the Olympics. Those who go to Japan to participate in the Olympics must be tested before boarding the plane and immediately after landing, and must be tested frequently during the competition.
If they test positive for the virus, they will be immediately quarantined. They will not run around in Tokyo. The president of the World Athletics Federation, Sebastian Co, admitted that the campaign to inform the public has not been achieved.
“I think it’s really important on the eve of the Olympics — if we tell the truth, it should probably be done sooner — there needs to be greater recognition of the work that has already been done,” Koy spoke at the Summer Olympics International Said at the Federation Assembly.
“In my lifetime, I can’t think of any other incidents that have considered so much for the safety of all relevant personnel,” Ke said. “However, like many of my colleagues, I spent too much time in front of the media, showing that these Olympics can be carried out safely.”
Coe believes that more proactive work should be taken to let Tokyo residents understand their situation this summer.
“We have to convey the message that these are not 10,000 athletes coming to a city without foresight or planning. The existing system is not only to protect the athletes, but to protect their communities,” Ke commented. “This will at least make some of the research polls that we wake up every morning more modest to some extent.”
The slow launch of the COVID-19 vaccine has also greatly aggravated the public’s anxiety about hosting the Olympics. But in this regard, the trend has begun to change. Tokyo’s terrestrial TV station has been fanning the flames by hyping the number of viruses for nearly 18 months, and the chart now running shows the percentage of people who have been vaccinated.
This number is still very low, between 5% and 10%, but last week Tokyo and Osaka started mass vaccinations for residents aged 18-64, giving priority to those over 65 and those with pre-existing diseases. This should accelerate the pace in the coming weeks.
Whiting attributed the cold speed of vaccination in Japan to bureaucracy and culture.
Whiting said: “Getting approval for the new vaccine from everyone involved in different government offices, following bureaucratic rules and regulations, and not wanting anyone to leave and risk offending someone is the reason.”
“To please the large pharmaceutical companies donated to [the ruling] Liberal Democratic Party [Liberal Democratic Party] And don’t want to be excluded from sharing the government’s revenue for purchasing vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and/or wanting to develop their own vaccines,” Whiting continued.
Watch | Country: Canadian athletes face uncertainty before the Olympics:
Long-standing rules hinder the introduction of vaccines
The author of this recent book Tokyo Junkie It was pointed out that long-standing rules also hindered the introduction of vaccines.
“The law restricts those who are allowed to give injections to doctors and nurses [are also responsible],” Whiting said. “In the United States, you go to Walgreens and an injection is given by an employee who is neither an employee nor an employee. The government relaxed the law and added dentists to the list of eligible for injections.
“But Japanese bureaucracy will only slow things down,” Whiting said. “No one has the right to break the red tape in this way [U.S. President Donald] This is what Trump did in the United States when he promoted the development of a vaccine. “
Although the understanding that the Olympics will be held is now a top priority, this does not eliminate the fact that any buzz before the Olympics has been obscured by various obstacles.
Michael Plastow, a translator who has lived in Japan for 40 years, provided his assessment of the current Olympic climate.
“I think the opposition is now equivalent to fatalism, and people generally think it’s too late to stop it,” Plastow said. “As a result, attention seems to be turning weakly to the prospect of medals and whether the audience will be allowed in. But as for enthusiasm, I see nothing.”
Plasto believes that the holding of the second Tokyo Olympic Games will cause long-term damage to the Olympic movement.
Plasto commented: “This will be a party without celebrations. The collapse of the entire financial and propaganda will definitely further reduce the already declining motivation of countries around the world to bid for the Olympics again.” “The International Olympic Committee won this event. Fighting, but damaged goods are being delivered. In any case, the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government hope that everything is going well or good enough with regard to COVID, and that their decision can be justified with hindsight. I hope they ‘I’ll get away by chance.”
Another problem with weather
Weather is another factor that will almost certainly affect the game, with 206 countries and 11,000 athletes competing for 339 gold medals. Out of safety concerns about the sweltering summer heat in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee moved the marathon and race walking events to Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido at the end of 2019.
In a few days in June, the thermometer here has climbed to close to 30 degrees Celsius, indicating that the next few weeks may be full of heat and humidity, which prompts residents of the Kanto Plain to flee to a cooler climate every August.
The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Olympics organizers announced on Monday that 10,000 spectators will be allowed to participate in the event as long as it does not exceed 50% of the venue’s capacity. This move may help turn the tide of public sentiment in the coming weeks.
Japanese fans have the opportunity to personally participate in the rare home Olympics and provide support to their athletes and others from all over the world. The anticipation and excitement that comes as part of the unique thing may be the key to changing the mindset.
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, said at the online meeting: “The International Olympic Committee will fully support your decision and will do its utmost to promote the safety and security of these Olympics to the Japanese people and all participants.”
Watch | Fans are allowed to participate in the Olympics, but don’t expect to cheer:
The TV personality and former figure skater Emi Watanabe, who represented Japan in the two Winter Olympics (1976 and 1980), knew that this would be a different kind of competition for athletes.
“The new crown pneumonia has changed everything. Psychologically, it is hard enough to be top-notch when there are crowds of people and cameras rolling towards you from all directions,” Watanabe said. “The audience for these events will not be so many now. Athletes must think positively and make the most of this COVID-19 Olympics.”
Watanabe still hopes that her country can hold a memorable event.
“I will cross my fingers, and these Olympics will be a great success.”
Tokyo resident Julia Morioka believes that people will eventually accept the Olympics.
“I think once the Olympics begin, we will enjoy it,” Morioka said.