Japan “trapped” in the Olympics

A member of the local Olympic Committee said on Friday that Japan found itself “stuck” with the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held in just seven weeks, arguing that the event had “lost its meaning” but it was too late to cancel it.

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The Olympic Games, postponed last year due to the epidemic, will be held from July 23 to August 8, and the Olympic authorities, Tokyo 2020 organizers and the Japanese government are touching, despite the health situation and the opposition of the majority of Japanese. .

“I think we’ve already missed an opportunity to cancel it,” judoka and Japanese Olympic Committee member Kaori Yamaguchi said in a column published by Kyodo.

“We found ourselves trapped in a situation where we can’t stop anything now,” the 1988 Seoul Olympic bronze medalist said, adding, “The Games have already lost their meaning and are being preserved just because they have to.” .

The former athlete criticized the position of the Japanese government, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee, which “appear to want to avoid dialogue”.

Aren’t the Olympics supposed to be a peace festival? She asks.

“The opposite of peace is a tough and stubborn approach of saying ‘People may be against it, but they will change their minds when the games start.'”I Yamaguchi.

She said she regretted, “The IOC seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

According to multiple polls, Japanese people are mostly against holding the Games this summer, fearing that the event will deteriorate the health situation, while 10 of the archipelago’s 47 divisions are still in a state of emergency.

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John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, said last month that the Olympics would take place even if Tokyo was in a state of emergency.

Japan’s vaccination campaign, which began in February, has been widely criticized for being slow. Although there have been signs of an acceleration in recent days, only 3% of Japan’s population has received two doses of the vaccine.

The Japanese government’s chief medical advisor, Shigeru Ohmi, warned Japan’s parliament on Friday that the country should avoid hosting the Games if the state of emergency is extended beyond June 20.

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