Japan’s largest automaker withdrew its TV commercials from incidents clouded by the increase in COVID infection and low public support.
Local media polls show that due to the lack of public support for the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 sponsor Toyota will not broadcast TV commercials related to the Olympics. Two-thirds of Japanese doubt whether the organizers can guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of the Olympics.
Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda and other executives will also not attend the opening ceremony, Toyota said on Monday.
A spokesperson said: “Toyota will indeed not participate in the opening ceremony. This is a decision made in consideration of various factors including the absence of spectators.”
“We will not broadcast any Olympic-related commercials in Japan,” she added.
Approximately 60 Japanese companies have paid more than $3 billion in sponsorship rights for the postponed 2020 Olympics and are now faced with the dilemma of whether to link their brands to events that have so far failed to win strong public support.
Four days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, a poll conducted by the Asahi newspaper showed that 68% of the respondents expressed doubts about the Olympic organizers’ ability to control the coronavirus infection, and 55% of the respondents said they opposed the continuation of the Olympics.
Of the 1,444 people surveyed by telephone, three-quarters said they agreed with the decision to prohibit spectators from participating in the event.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and the fourth state of emergency, the public is increasingly worried that holding events with tens of thousands of overseas athletes, officials, and journalists may accelerate the infection rate in the Japanese capital and introduce more infectious Sexual variants or more deadly.
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, has stated that he hopes that the Japanese public will be enthusiastic about the Olympics after the game and when Japanese athletes start to win medals. The Tokyo Olympics lasted from July 23 to August 8.
The government spokesperson and Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunnobu Kato said at the regular briefing: “We will continue to work closely with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee and other organizers to ensure that we provide a safe and reliable environment for the Olympic Games.”
The first case among athletes
On Sunday, Olympic officials reported the first case of COVID-19 among participants in the Tokyo Athletes Village, and 11,000 athletes are expected to stay there during the Olympics. Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organizers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.
Any major epidemic in the village may cause serious damage to the game, because people who are infected or quarantined will not be able to participate in the game. Olympic officials and individual event organizers have contingency plans to deal with athletes’ infections.
A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson stated that the village is a safe place to stay, adding that the infection rate among athletes and other Olympic-related people visiting Japan is close to 0.1%.
On Sunday, six British track and field athletes and two staff members were forced to quarantine after someone tested positive on a flight to Japan.
“Many athletes may hold parties or ceremonies before heading to Tokyo, where there may be cheers or greetings. Therefore, they may also be at risk of infection in their own country,” Tokyo International Health and Welfare University professor, government coronavirus response Consultant Koji Wada told Reuters.
The latest surge in cases in Tokyo occurred after the previous four waves, the deadliest of which was in January. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo reached 1,410 on Saturday, the highest number since the beginning of the year, with more than 1,000 new infections for five consecutive days.
Most of these new cases are young people, because Japan has successfully vaccinated most vulnerable elderly people with at least one shot, even though only 32% of the total population has been vaccinated so far.