Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

 The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has been postponed to next year and will likely be an unprecedented difficult event in history. Will the games push through regardless of the coronavirus pandemic?

 In Japan, increases and decreases in the number of cases have been reported, but overall, we have seen a downward trend in mid-September. However, the rate of decline is extremely slow, and we should to be cautious of another resurgence in autumn.

 Public enthusiasm about the games seems to be waning as reported by a survey jointly conducted by ICHINI Co. and JX in August. The survey results reveal that out of the 2,041 responses, 40% or more Japanese people expect that the Olympics should be cancelled, with 30% in favor of going ahead and 30% opting for a reschedule; the Japanese public is skeptical about continuing with the games.

 I believe the Olympic and Paralympic Games will push through at any cost considering the preparations of the athletes and other members involved. I have two tickets for rowing and have no intention of getting them refunded. Nobody knows what the world would look like next summer.

 Under normal circumstances, athletes from 200 or more countries/regions participate in the Olympic Games; however, in the current situation, entry in Japan from more than 150 countries or regions is, by principle, restricted. In principle, the host country of Olympics is obliged to accept all athletes, athletes with disability, and other participants regardless of their nationalities. Hence, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are called “the Peace Festival.” The Japanese government and IOC are planning to undertake special measures to accept entry from countries worldwide.

 The Olympic Games feature approximately 33 types of sports activities, and their management must be incredibly complex. To bring the “Olympic Games Tokyo 2020” into fruition within a safe environment, a number of issues should be solved. However, if Japan has to accept athletes from countries worldwide where the coronavirus is widespread, how then can we control the risks of infection?

 Moreover, the budget for the games has now increased due to postponement. How can we then manage such an exorbitant expenditure? The IOC and Organizing Committee are discussing the means for reducing additional costs that may be worth several hundred billion yen. These costs particularly cover events and receptions; transport services; and seating for IOC members, staff of the Organizing Committee, and others.

 Despite these technical and administrative issues, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games aim to promote hope and provide a new infrastructure and economic model for the future. Japan is adept at solving problems, such as coronavirus and safety, at its best, which the majority of large countries face in this turbulent and global society. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games will thus be the games that conquered coronavirus.”

Posted on September 18, 2020