Olympic Watch: Can the Tokyo Olympics be held?
China News Service, Beijing, January 13th (Reporter Xing Chong and Zhu Chenxi) Just half a year before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, a piece of news quickly detonated the Internet: The Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled on the 18th and will be announced in 2032. Held in the year.
At the beginning of last year, when the new crown epidemic raged, discussions about the future of the Tokyo Olympics were triggered. After confirming the postponement, IOC President Bach once stated that if the Tokyo Olympics cannot be held in 2021, they will be cancelled directly.
Apart from hosting or canceling, the postponed Tokyo Olympics has no third option. Now that the epidemic in Japan is rebounding again, can the Tokyo Olympics be held?
Affected by the new crown epidemic, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which were originally scheduled to debut in July 2020, have been postponed to July 23 and August 24, 2021, respectively. The picture shows the admission test site.
【1】Who is threatening to cancel the Olympics?
After the New Year, rumors about the suspension of the Tokyo Olympics are rampant. Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee from Canada, said publicly on the 8th that he was not sure whether the Tokyo Olympics could be held as scheduled this summer. As early as the end of February last year, Pound proposed that the Tokyo Olympics could not be held as scheduled in 2020, and was the first member of the International Olympic Committee to publicly make this statement.
A latest public opinion survey by the Kyodo News Agency of Japan shows that 35.3% of the respondents hope that the Olympics will be cancelled, and 44.8% hope that the Olympics will be postponed again. This also means that more than 80% of the Japanese people are not optimistic that the Tokyo Olympics will be held within this year. This proportion has increased by about 17% from a month ago.
There are also voices who believe that the Tokyo Olympics should be held in 2024, and the Paris and Los Angeles Olympics will be postponed for four years, respectively, in 2028 and 2032.
However, the Japanese government has repeatedly emphasized that the Tokyo Olympics will be held as scheduled. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga bluntly stated at the first press conference of the New Year that hosting the Olympics was “unchanging determination”. On the 12th, he reiterated that the Tokyo Olympics would be “definitely held” during a call with Bill Gates.
The report that the Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled was subsequently exposed from a gossip magazine. This magazine called “Weekly Facts” was launched in September 1958 and currently has a total circulation of more than 230,000 copies. It is mainly aimed at male audiences and is characterized by secret stories on the dark side of society such as Japanese violent groups.
According to this magazine, when IOC President Bach visited Japan last year, he privately reached an oral agreement with the Japanese government. If the Tokyo Olympics cannot be held in the summer of 2021, as compensation for the 2032 Olympics, Leave it to Tokyo. However, the article only stated that the news came from the director of the editorial department of a sports newspaper, but it was not reported by mainstream Japanese media.
Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee also immediately clarified that the news about the cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2024 or even 2032 is fake news; the chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee Yoshiro Mori also promised, The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held as scheduled this summer.
 The epidemic is raging and the challenges are increasing
When the new crown epidemic was raging early last year, in the face of various concerns from the outside world, the Japanese government also firmly stated that the Olympic Games will be held in July 2020 as scheduled; now the Tokyo Olympics prospects Suspicious again, the Japanese side remains firm. However, if the Tokyo Olympics are to be held in 2021, they may face more severe challenges.
The Japanese government has repeatedly emphasized the need to provide a “safe environment” for the Olympic Games, but the reality is that the epidemic is increasing. Since December last year, the domestic epidemic situation in Japan has continued to deteriorate, and the number of confirmed cases has reached a new high after 2021. The number of new cases in a single day exceeded 5,000 for the first time on the 6th, and more than 7,000 cases were newly confirmed in a single day for 3 consecutive days from the 7th to the 9th. ; On the 9th, there were 2,268 newly confirmed cases in Tokyo. The number of newly confirmed cases in a single day exceeded 2,000 for three consecutive days. At present, many places including the metropolitan area are in a state of emergency.
To make matters worse, a new type of mutated new coronavirus was detected in four passengers who entered Japan from Brazil. This is not exactly the same as the mutated new coronavirus found in the United Kingdom and South Africa, which has already appeared in Japan. Japan has to announce the suspension of entry of foreigners into foreigners carrying the mutated new coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Hosting the Tokyo Olympics will inevitably need to deal with the movement of people around the world, but many items in the Tokyo Olympics epidemic prevention plan issued by the Japanese government at the end of last year are still vague. For example, athletes do not require compulsory isolation after entering Japan. Regular inspections are conducted in the Olympic Village, and specific issues such as possible countermeasures such as “false positives” and whether athletes who are tested positive can participate in the competition have not been addressed.
p > On January 8, 2021 local time, passers-by pass by a closed shop in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Earlier, due to the continuous spread of the new crown epidemic, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the three prefectures (Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa) in the country’s capital area will enter from 0:00 local time on January 8 The state of emergency will end on February 7th.
Many people in the medical community have suggested that vaccines will be the “life-saving straw” for the Tokyo Olympics, but Tokyo seems unwilling to make athletes vaccinated as a prerequisite for participation. Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto revealed on the 12th that he is currently discussing measures to prevent the virus from hosting a safe Olympic Games even without vaccination.
This move also caused concerns among athletes. Britain’s four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent recently stated publicly that it was “absolutely absurd” to convene a meeting of thousands of people from all over the world when the vaccine could not be fully guaranteed. Even the famous Japanese badminton player Kento Momota, who has been diagnosed with the new crown, said bluntly: “If no one feels uneasy, the Olympics can be held, but I feel uneasy.”
In response to the raging epidemic, Japan only We can hope to save the Tokyo Olympics by constantly “slimming”. For example, Japan has previously insisted that it is impossible to hold the Olympics without spectators. Japan’s Olympic Committee Chairman Yasushita Yasushita recently released the first time and does not rule out holding the Olympics without spectators.
The most realistic situation is that the budget for the Tokyo Olympics had reached 1.35 trillion yen before the decision was postponed. After the decision was postponed, the budget was increased by 294 billion yen, and the increased budget was used for the new crown epidemic response. The cost is as high as 96 billion yen. Once the Olympics are cancelled, most of the investment will inevitably be “flooded.”
The Tokyo Olympics has become a “hot potato”. Although the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee insisted on holding it as scheduled, there is no doubt that if the epidemic in Japan and the world is difficult to control, the Tokyo Olympics will not escape the cancellation of the fate Even with the blessing of vaccines, it may be difficult to host a complete Olympic Games. (End)