The Tokyo Olympic Games, which has a lot of fate, has been rumored to be cancelled again.
The British Times reported on January 21 that due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese government has “privately decided to cancel” this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, hoping to hold it again in 2032. The Times quoted sources as saying that the Tokyo Olympics were difficult to hold smoothly, and the goal now is to “find a way to save face and announce the cancellation”. This news has once again triggered a heated debate.
In fact, the Tokyo Olympic Games, which has been postponed for one year, are facing many difficulties. Recently, it has been reported that it will be postponed again and cancelled. With six months to go until July 23, 2021, can the Tokyo Olympic Games open smoothly?
Official response: It will be held as scheduled, and preparations are under way.
On the afternoon of January 22, in response to the Beijing News reporter’s question on whether the Japanese government has decided to cancel the Olympic Games, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee of Japan said that the Japanese government is continuing to work closely with relevant units to ensure the smooth holding of the Olympic Games this summer.
The statement said, “In the government, Prime Minister Suga expressed his determination to open the Olympic Games and set up a meeting to adjust the pandemic policy to take the lead in taking thorough pandemic measures for the opening of the Olympic Games.
The government, Tokyo Metropolis, Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee and other relevant units are making full preparations for the opening of this summer Olympic Games.
The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee hopes that the society can return to normal track as soon as possible. In order to achieve a safe and secure Olympic Games this summer, it is continuing to cooperate closely with relevant units and make every effort to prepare for it.
According to the Japanese sports news media Daily Sports, the Japanese Cabinet said on January 22 that “Although there are reports that the Japanese government has decided to cancel the Tokyo Olympic Games in private, it is actually not at all.
The venue and competition schedule of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 23 this year have long been set in advance. Now, for the successful hosting of the Olympic Games this summer, relevant units are cooperating to prepare for it.
“We completely deny this report (The Times reports) and the report about the cancellation is completely untrue,” said Japan’s deputy governor, said at a press conference on the same day. But he also said, “We must take into account the overseas situation.
To some extent, we will decide whether to really host the Olympics, but before that, the Japanese government will do what it should do.”
Seiko Hashimoto, the Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, also said, “The preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games are steadily under way, and every effort is made to achieve this summer.”
According to Kyodo News Agency on January 21, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, also said in an interview, “At this stage, there is no reason to believe that [the Tokyo Olympic Games] will not open in July. Therefore, there is no plan B.
Earlier this month, the news that the “Tokyo Olympic Games will be cancelled, and the bid will be held again in 2024” released by the Japanese entertainment magazine Weekly Truth was widely circulated on the Internet and once on the hot search.
However, on January 12, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee told the Beijing News that the Tokyo Olympic Games are still scheduled to open on July 23, 2021. “In order to achieve a safe and secure Olympic Games this summer, the organizing committee is making every effort to prepare.”
There are many difficult problems: the pandemic continues to intensify and the cost of hosting is high.
Although Japan has repeatedly “counterped down on counterfeiting” and insisted that the Olympic Games will be held this summer, the Tokyo Olympic Games do face many difficulties.
The first problem is the coronavirus pandemic. As of January 22, the cumulative number of infected people in Japan has exceeded 350,000.
During the New Year’s Eve, the number of infected people has reached a new high, with the capital circle centered on Tokyo as the pandemic being the most serious.
This month, 11 regions of Japan, including the capital Tokyo, have entered the highest level of emergency, which is planned to last until February 7. However, the pandemic in Tokyo has not improved significantly.
According to NHK on January 22, the number of infected people in Tokyo has increased by more than 1,000 in the past 10 days.
According to Japan’s Daily News, with the return of a state of emergency in 11 places across Japan and the severity of the global pandemic, the Japanese sports industry has fallen into chaos, and the call for the “Tokyo Olympic Games cancellation” is increasing.
Professor Kentaro Iwata of Kobe University, a famous infectious disease doctor in Japan, expressed concern about the hosting of the Tokyo Olympic Games. He believes that there is no need to risk so much to hold the Olympic Games.
“Japan postponed the Olympics last year, but we are now in a much more dangerous situation than last year”, and re-hosting the Olympic Games is like a desperate gambler mentality of “losing money and gambling to recover the money”. Professor Iwata also specifically mentioned, “What I worry about most is the Paralympic Games.
Players with immune abnormalities, such as congenital diseases, will not be able to avoid the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.”
On January 22, under the increasing pressure of public opinion at home and abroad, and in accordance with the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee put forward three options to control the number of spectators of the Tokyo Olympic Games: “no upper limit”, “reduce the number of spectators by 50%” and “no audience”.
However, if the “no audience” approach is adopted, 90 billion yen of ticket revenue will be lost.
In fact, before the pandemic is effectively controlled, the Japanese government is also facing the problem of the high funds needed to host the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Comprehensive NHK and Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported on January 22 that in the nine years from the decision to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2013 to 2021, the total amount directly borne by the state to 395.9 billion yen, of which the additional pandemic prevention expenses are 80.9 billion yen.
Moreover, arranging medical services at the Olympic venues has also become a major problem.
But Japan has also accumulated some experience in holding sports events under the pandemic.
According to Bloomberg Japan, almost all sports events were cancelled during the national emergency in 2020, but since last summer, baseball, football, sumo and other events have been held one after another under the condition of controlling the number of spectators, so Japan has accumulated pandemic prevention experience.
Last November, the International Gymnastics Competition, which was the “water test” event of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, was held in Tokyo. Many athletes came to Japan to compete.
The competition fully adopted measures such as the whole floor of the hotel, such as only living by sports teams and daily PCR testing.
The competition was successfully concluded without infection.
However, it is still a question whether the Japanese government can ensure the safe and smooth hosting of the Olympic Games, which will have more than 15,000 athletes from more than 200 countries.