Japan Fuming Over ‘Sacrifices’ Needed to Host Olympics
The general consensus is firmly against hosting the global event as Japan finds itself in the grip of COVID-19.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and vice-president John Coates found themselves at the receiving end of social media’s wrath in Japan on Monday over their insistence that the rearranged Tokyo Games should proceed forward despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Coates on Friday had said "absolutely yes" that the Games should go on from 23 July even if host city Tokyo remained in a state of emergency. And Bach's comments reportedly made to a meeting of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) that "some sacrifices" were needed didn’t go down well with the majority in Japan, wherein the general consensus is firmly against hosting the global event according to recent polls, reports DPA.
The IOC on Monday, however, cleared his stance that Bach was not referring to sacrifices from the Japanese population per se but rather "everyone in the Olympic community". This was needed to keep the sporting aspect of a toned-down Games alive so "the athletes can fulfil their Olympic dreams," Bach was quoted as saying to the IOC.
Local organisers insist the Games can be staged safely despite Japan battling a fourth wave of the pandemic and Tokyo being frequently put under emergency, with the latest extending to the end of this month.
Foreign fans will not be permitted to attend the Games, which were delayed from last year, while the numbers attending from federations, sponsors and media have been cut as well to limit the risk of infection.
Late last month, the Tokyo Olympic Games organizing committee had proclaimed it had prepared for the possibility of holding the event without spectators.
"If the situation is expected to cause problems for the medical system, in order to put the highest priority on safety and security, there may come a time when we have to decide to go ahead with no spectators," Seiko Hashimoto, the organising committee president, had said in April.
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