Japan’s financial, political, and opinion differences over the Tokyo Olympics “gift”
An illustration shared on social media shows IOC President Thomas Bach wearing a mask and waving happily, while the accompanying text conveys a message that the Japanese do not necessarily want to return.
Hyung-Gu Lynn, a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said: “We can’t back down-it means we are very depressed, which is a bit urgent.” He described the ambivalence in Japan. Mentioned in a recent meme, Before the upcoming Olympic Games.
The Tokyo Olympics affected by the epidemic will be held on July 23 The capital enters a state of emergency Against the opposition of those who worry about the potential consequences of what is about to happen to public health.
Experts say that the driving force behind this process is the fact that billions of dollars have been spent to host the summer event — the entanglement of politics and obligations — and Japan’s confidence that it can successfully cope with any coronavirus risks while hosting the Olympics.
This is not to say that the public has the same sense of urgency to continue hosting the Olympics. Originally scheduled to be held last year.
“I think the public’s attitude is an anger or submissiveness, I have to say,” Lynn quoted a poll showing Most Japanese are opposed to the Olympics.
“Some people will say:’Why not?'”
There are also people who continue to actively protest the Olympics, such as the more than 40 people who gathered outside the five-star hotel in self-isolation on Saturday by the IOC president.
The protester Yoshida Ayako said: “He doesn’t seem to consider our critical situation and suffering, which makes me even more angry.”
Value for money?
on the paper, There are official fees for the Tokyo Olympics $15.4 billion, although audits show that it is much higher than that.
The money has been spent, and a new national stadium has been built, although there will be fewer sports fans Fill the seats of Olympic facilities in Tokyo area — And Hokkaido Prefecture and Fukushima — Out of concerns about COVID-19.
“The most important thing is money,” said Hannah Holmes, an assistant professor of economics at Hamilton McMaster University.
“Can they get the money back? It can be said that they will not be able to participate now because there are no fans.”
But it’s not just the size of the investment; according to some Olympic observers, this is what Japan got—or didn’t get.
According to Robert Dekle, a professor of economics at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, many people in Japan “didn’t see its benefits.”
These critics questioned why Japan is hosting the Olympics. Dekle said that even before the arrival of COVID-19, it was true for some people.
With less than two weeks to go before the Olympics, the number of COVID-19 cases in Japan is on the rise, and health officials reported 950 new infections on Saturday-the highest number in about two months and the 21st consecutive day of infections The number of people has increased from the previous week.
Less than one-fifth, or 16.8% of the population, is fully vaccinated. Approximately 15,000 people in Japan have died of COVID-19.
In order to limit any risk of transmission during the Olympics, it is expected that there will be thousands of visiting athletes Stay in their Olympic accommodation or venue, Follow strict guidelines In the rule book.
Japan won the bid to host the Olympics eight years ago, When Shinzo Abe led the government.
He said: “The Olympics should be a gift given to Japan by the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he left.” “So Yoshihide Suga is only implementing… the plan set by his predecessor.”
In addition, Lynn stated that if the Olympics are a success, Yoshihide Suga has the opportunity to build support for his continued leadership in his party.
Of course, the International Olympic Committee has a clear interest in hosting the Olympics.
Broadcast rights and sponsorship are the key to the operation of the International Olympic Committee. It is estimated that the cancellation of the Olympic Games may cause billions of dollars in revenue losses.
“You can’t ignore the IOC’s perseverance,” said Holmes of McMaster University, noting that given the lack of audiences in the stands this year, broadcasting rights are “almost their only income.”
Decker of the University of Southern California believes that despite the challenges, Japan still has the ability to host the Olympic Games.
“My feeling is that the result will be more positive than the Japanese people think,” Dekker said. He expects Japan to successfully host an Olympic Games to improve public relations.
Vijay Setlur, a marketing lecturer at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, said that if there are no major problems in the Olympics, Japan will win.
“If they can maintain a healthy Olympics, no athletes are infected with the virus, … no volunteers or workers do this, then I think it will be considered a success,” he said.