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The total expenditure of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will exceed 390 billion yen.

Is it worth the Tokyo Olympic Games to continue?

by YCPress

January 3rd. Kyodo News Agency Tokyo released a report entitled “Having the Tokyo Olympic Games under the epidemic still faces many challenges”. The full text is excerpted as follows:

The Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the International Olympic Committee promised that the Tokyo Olympics would show the world’s victory in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

But is it really a good idea to continue to hold the Olympic Games? Given the recent approval and launch of vaccines in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, and Japan may do so in the first few months of 2021, there are signs that the end of the epidemic is imminent.

However, for Japan, it may not be worthwhile to take risks to bring people from all over the world to their doorsteps.

In addition, there is ethical complexity in holding an international event despite uncertainty about whether a large part of the world can get out of the epidemic, and Japan’s relative success in fighting the epidemic may be adversely affected by allowing large numbers of people from all over the world to enter their own countries.

One concern is that those who participate in the Olympic Games may have priority access to vaccination opportunities. Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, talked about this issue in Tokyo last November.

“We’ve made it clear from the start that nurses, doctors and everyone who keeps our society running during the COVID-19 crisis is the highest priority,” Bach said. However, India has indicated that its athletes will receive special treatment.

There is no guarantee that the vaccine will be launched smoothly. Due to supply chain difficulties, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has been forced to halve its production target.

Japan has successfully maintained relatively strict control over the virus while borders remain closed to most countries.

The recent emergence of a variant of the novel coronavirus has prompted the government to implement stricter controls as a preventive measure.

But if Japan makes a mass exception for the Tokyo Olympics, and if Olympic participants are not required to be vaccinated, as Bach said, all the economic and emotional pain caused by closing the border and restricting the movement and activities of people at home may be wasted.

Athletes will be widely tested repeatedly to ensure they do not spread the virus in Olympic villages and on the field.

However, it seems that overseas viewers may not need to accept a 14-day quarantine and can also take public transportation.

Viewers from foreign countries are likely to be required to download a smartphone application that tracks contact and report their health.

Another problem still exists. Even if the Olympics were successfully held without the virus, is the event still worth the high cost of Japan?

The Tokyo Olympics were originally expected to cost 1.35 trillion yen ($13.1 billion), but later increased the cost of postponement by 294 billion yen.

If Tokyo has to host an Olympic Games that requires people to maintain social distancing, it may also lose the party atmosphere that makes the event very special to athletes, host city residents and tourists.