Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, left, and Dr Shigeru Omi attend a press conference at the prime minister's official residence on Friday night. Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool via AP
politics

Suga repeats determination to hold Olympics as he expands state of emergency

82 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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If they must have the Olympics, then they should open it up only to audience members, athletes, and personnel who have had or currently have Covid. Since the 500 nurses will be there, they can treat everyone and know that their skills are not being wasted. Everyone can be maskless, and nobody will have to worry about virus trasmission because It has already been transmitted. Problem solved!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ZENJI

Hypocrisy in motion here.

Mr Suga says, go ahead with the games, what will Mr Suga say when people start dying?

How do you define "people start dying"? You do realize that people die every day, just as people are born every day, no?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ZorotoMay 15  06:51 am JST

possibly expelling journalists

Possibly, maybe, considering, debating...

The modus operandi of an inept government and "leader" with no sense of accountability.

Passng the buck, saying 'it's not my problem'. C'mon, Suga. Be a hero!

ZENJIToday  02:56 am JST

Hypocrisy in motion here.

Mr Suga says, go ahead with the games, what will Mr Suga say when people start dying?

Uh-huh. And some hero he turns out to be! He needs to face reality, take responsibility and grow a pair.

Postpone the Games again!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hypocrisy in motion here.

Mr Suga says, go ahead with the games, what will Mr Suga say when people start dying?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I din't read a single reason why the Olympics must be held.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Prime-minister suga has to remind himself that the good Japanese do not want the Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ToshihiroToday  07:24 am JST

I really wonder what it would take for the Japanese government to pull the plug on the event, everybody has a red line.

Ahhhh that brown envelope has yet to be invented so alas the answer is probably, nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

those who don't could face fines.

Unless of course you have LDP friends and vote LDP as usual.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan's present prime minister repeats only unfounded willpower talk as same as incompetent leaders of prewar or wartime Japan who victimized innumerable people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Judo team story seems to have been skipped by the media be it for the university's reputation or the negative connotations that could be suggested for the Olympics or for both reasons

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A university judo team has 53 members test positive before a competition and hence don’t compete and the university goes to all online.

Has JT covered this story yet?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I admire Suga's determination to hold the Olympics in Japan this year, but there are many challenges involved in doing it safely, and I fear that Japan could become another India.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So the PM will boot out any journalist that break the rules, so what will happen if an athlete brakes the rules, will they be booted out as well?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suga and his addiction to Olympics at all costs, everything else be damned , reminds me of LOR Volume and his ring infatuation in more ways than one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wish he was as determined to vaccinate everyone as soon as possible.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

WHO released a statement that this year pandemic will be much worse than last year. They should publish in Japanese so he can read it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A university judo team has 53 members test positive before a competition and hence don’t compete and the university goes to all online.

Funny how this story doesn’t seem to get in the mainstream news. Olympics anyone?

Yep, very little on the news or in the other types of media!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I thought he said Olympics was never the first priority. Oh, wasuremashita ka??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Flirting with disaster. Call them off for the year. If they truly give a hang about Tokyo and neighboring Japanese cities they delay them until 2022.

Germany has cancelled Oktoberfest.

Eid around the world is celebrated at home, mosques are shut down.

Australia's Qantas airlines are grounded until December.

Show some concern and sense.

Call them off! NOW!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A university judo team has 53 members test positive before a competition and hence don’t compete and the university goes to all online.

Funny how this story doesn’t seem to get in the mainstream news. Olympics anyone?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

i feel sorry about this old man.

i feel sorry about these who will be infected by covid as result of this "decision"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“I understand there are various difficulties, but the priority is to stop the further spread of infections and protect the people's lives and health,” Suga said.

The politicians don’t understand at all.

There was plenty of scientific expert opinion referencing the spread of infectious diseases years ago.

If they had been clued in then there would have been PPE equipment stored, ready for use in this pandemic-there was not.

The individual is powerless in a pandemic to prevent the numbers infected rising.Concerted effort by large powerful groups like government are needed.

This ‘governance’ is not apparent in Japan!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"I am determined to hold a dinner party in my dining room despite the fact that my second floor is on fire. It will be fine because the fire brigade came last week and spent 5 minutes spraying water at the windows, and I plan on keeping everyone downstairs anyway. All guests will be given a paper hand fan to keep them safe in the unlikely coincidence that the fire happens to reach my dining room during the time of the dinner party. All my shutters are closed and welded shut so there's no risk of the fire escaping to the rest of the neighborhood."

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Seeing my kids and grandkids takes priority.

I hear you on that one.

My children's grandparents are in there mid 90s live not far within walking distance but at their age and still not Vaccinated no one wants to take the risk and somehow infecting them.

They are still in very good health but both over 95 it is still a risk no one is willing to take.

At that age you would think the government would have them vaccinated by now but still no word from our ward office.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Olympics are going to go ahead regardless of a virus, major earthquake or meteor strike. It’s just how it’s going to be.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@yubaru already mentioned NPR, but here is a quote from their website worth considering:

"90% of Olympic revenues come from broadcasting rights and corporate sponsorships. So even if the games are reduced to a TV-only spectacle, the IOC still gets its money."

Meanwhile, in the real world of Osaka,

 In recent weeks more than a dozen have died before they could be hospitalised.

The IOC needs to back down, take the financial hit, and get out of the way of more important work.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/14/business/rakuten-tokyo-olympics-intl-hnk/index.html

Rakhten CEO called holding the Tokyo Olympics as a "suicide mission".

Atleast one big leader from Japan has the courage to call a spade a spade.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Gosh it will be such a fun gig for the journalists ... I’m sure they’re falling over themselves to get here. Not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Contempt is the only word !

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How about some "can-do for a change? How about stepping up and making things happen?

Absolutely!

I’m all for a bit of can-do regarding stopping this fourth wave and getting the majority of the population vaccinated.

Step up and do that, and then, and only then, we can work on making a jamboree for pampered professional athletes happen.

I’m not interested in seeing how fast some folk can run or jump or swim or throw things.

Seeing my kids and grandkids takes priority.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Sadly, Japanese premier has inadvertently grounded himself in a big dilemma, caught between the devil and the blue sea.

What a nightmarish scenario he has to bear and experience..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

All I ever hear at this site is this deafening chorus of "oh we can't do this" or "we can't do that". Excuses, excuses. What happened to people? Everyone just gave up? No ambition any more? What ever happened to "let's make this happen". I get tired of people saying what they can't do. How about some "can-do for a change? How about stepping up and making things happen? The west didn't get wealthy and industrialized by a bunch of crybabies complaining "oh we can't". People took risks and busted their butts to get where we are today. Show the world what Japan is made of and make this Olympics happen. Show the world that even in the face of pandemic Japan can put on a world class Olympics. No more crying you can't because if you put your minds to it you can.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

[ STRONG JAPAN AS AN IMAGE?]

Is Japan, besides other reasons, trying to look like a strong country to the world by holding the super spreader ~ Japan Olympics?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

By September, Tokyo would have UK variant, South African variant, Brazilian variant, and Indian variant all circulating at the same time, each COVID variant duking it out for the COVID supremacy.

We will see which variant comes out on top by the end of this year, as the strongest variant pushes the other variants out to become the dominant variant in a couple of months.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well done PM Suga! The Japanese are with you!

Lol...blatantly false , 32% approval , lowest ever , record disapproval in the poll releases today. Try reading the headlines.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This Olympic Games will be a disaster. Covid isn't the governments fault, but their handling of it is nothing short of embarrassing.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Niigata is far away from the Tokyo games.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/b8364c29049312e1d3c0a17a41e9e7fa0e8da8a8?tokyo2020

Interesting. For Rakuten, holding the games now ressembles a suicide. Contrary to politicians, public opinion matters to brands.

I have not seen yet any Japanese sponsor push the Games in their marketing. Only a few weeks before the scheduled date, that's a first.

Let's keep pushing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think my children's grandparents both in their mid 90s put it best.

"The government was willing to sacrifice us in 45 and now they are again willing to sacrifice us, all for national pride"

I think that sums it all up in a nutshell.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@Eisenach

Well done PM Suga! The Japanese are with you!

I politely and respectfully disagree. When I showed your post to my wife she laughed and pointed out that Suga's approval rating is 35% or lower and 70-80% of Japanese do not support holding the Olympics.

I am humbly asking you to provide evidence of your assertion.

Thank you.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Suga the perpetual "flip-flopper" like Abe's one-term ex-counterpart in the US!

Was there not an article recently about Suga prioritizing the resident's safety over the Olympics?

Suga is having a hellava time at this whole "PM thing".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The Japanese are with you!

Really? They’re doing an extraordinarily good job of hiding it....

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Japanese are with you? Yep those strapped into an airplane and pointed at the Olympics with no return fuel.

‘good plan.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

They will go ahead no matter what cost,money and corporations above lives.

What is also disturbing that even with al the scandals of corruption,disorganization, apathy and xenophobia,a good 33% still believe in these muppets.

Now in any real democracy the ruling party would crumble but not here.

Because the electorate is ultra conservative to the core so no matter what they keep voting them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well done PM Suga! The Japanese are with you!

-26 ( +0 / -26 )

“...including possibly expelling journalists covering the event if they defy regulations.“

ie. If they cover the truth. Sounding more like China every day.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The selfish and disgusting "Olympics at all cost" push by these bozos is the worst thing I have seen in my 25 years here.

Absolutely agree ..it's beyond despicable. This has completely turned me off Japan.

Dr Shigeru Omi, who heads a government panel of experts, urged organizers to carefully study how much additional burden Olympic participants will place on already-strained medical systems.

Omi should finally grow a pair and instead of half baked urges , finally come out in his medical authority and say that Olympics under these circumstances are unsafe and impossible to hold. He,s been too much of a yes man ever since tapped by Abe.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Why ? Good question ! There is a simpler theory . Because Japan is fake. They can't really do much and this nonsense written here is nothing but excuses.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Dangerously incompetent Prime Minister!!!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I don't need to see his barcode. I just want him to do the right thing and put people's lives before some vanity and ego-boosting project.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

One would think that the human life a Japanese PM would be most concerned about would be Japanese and cancel the Olympics as a failed idea and move on. But the brown bags are too many, the cashola must flow

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Olympic President Thomas Bach cancelled his planned trip to Japan next week due to the state of emergency. Wouldn't he realize that the Olympics should be cancelled for the same reason?

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Suga, you are a dreadful human being.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I understand there are various difficulties, but the priority is to stop the further spread of infections and protect the people's lives and health

Hey Suga! You know what would you stop the further spread of infections and protect people's lives and health? Vaccines! I know, I know; it's such a wild idea but why not GIVE IT A SHOT? In the meantime, instead of targeting eateries and alcohol, why not turn your "stricter measures" to companies that keep insisting on their people packing into horrifyingly overcrowded trains like cattle and make them let their employees work from home?

19 ( +19 / -0 )

P. SmithToday 07:47 am JST

These sent contradictory positions by Suga. What a farce the Japanese government is.

It's the 1930s all over again, literally:

"Before the war, Japan recognized that military expertise was important, and worked to produce elite military officers," Teikyo University professor Kiyotada Tsutsui said. "This made it difficult to nurture personnel who had broad perspective, though it may have produced officers with a wealth of knowledge about war. This, in turn, worsened the silo mentality in the military."

Today, "there are many experts on health care and infection prevention, but there are few leaders who can objectively analyze the overall situation and coordinate for policies," Tsutsui said, adding that in this respect, "the prewar culture has not changed."

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/COVID-reveals-Japan-s-long-history-of-poor-crisis-management

It seems that Japan's current leadership has learned nothing from the catastrophic failures of the war years that brought near total destruction on the country.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Tons are talking about it already. I see news every day about Olympics concerns here in the US. The pressure needs to continue mounting, though. And I wish someone would call out the BS testing numbers.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

On my drive into work this AM, I was listening to NPR and they picked this story up about the Olympics as well,

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/14/996956115/the-olympics-are-in-10-weeks-but-many-in-japan-dont-want-them

More "western" mainstream outlets need to pick this up and make it an issue!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Hold a referendum.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

These sent contradictory positions by Suga. What a farce the Japanese government is.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Until the end of Olympics, or may be until another month or two after that, Japan will be in a continued state of emergency. People would be hold up inside their houses, so that Olympics can be conducted. This is how they probably plan to protect the general public...

Doesn't help.. really!!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Suga stressed his commitment to holding the games safely and securely while protecting Japanese by strictly controlling the movements of foreign participants, including possibly expelling journalists covering the event if they defy regulations.

Such blindness and ignorance to the actual problem.

So it’s only foreigners that will spread the virus around Japan and to Japanese people? How about strictly controlling the movement of Japanese people during Golden Week?

How is Suga protecting the millions of Japanese people who cram into rush hour trains every single day to, in many cases, unnecessarily go the the office?

Can people and organisations with actual voices that get heard please start calling out all this nonsense.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Incompetence personified. This takes me back to the Mori administration, only the stakes were lower there.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

“I understand there are various difficulties, but the priority is to stop the further spread of infections and protect the people's lives and health,” Suga said.

No you don't. Pressing on with the Olympics with global CV-19 cases on the rise, not to mention a new variant and the lack of vaccine inoculation and distribution is just contradictory beyond reasonable doubt. I really wonder what it would take for the Japanese government to pull the plug on the event, everybody has a red line.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

I have read part of the ‘playbook’ it will not be an enjoyable experience for athletes.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

This type of mentality is reminiscent of jilted lovers who won’t take no for an answer and start hanging out where the ex-lovers live. Looks like Japan is hell bent on hosting at all costs.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

“I understand there are various difficulties, but the priority is to stop the further spread of infections and protect the people's lives and health,” Suga said.

If Suga truely believed this he would cancel the Olympics. This statement is meaningless as actions speak louder than words. I am begininf to wonder why he is so deepl¥ invested in the Olymp¥cs.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

“Infections are escalating extremely rapidly in populated areas,” Suga said. “As new variants continue to spread, we judged that now is a very important time to stop the further spread of infections.”

....so we've decided to invite a couple of hundred thousand people from all around the world to travel about in Tōkyo and farflung regions to help in combatting the spread of the virus(es) whilst promoting the triumph of the human spirit through sport.

aah.... brings tears to my eyes..... (ー△ー;)

23 ( +23 / -0 )

With an approval rating of 32.2%....give me a break!!!

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Business owners who comply will be compensated; those who don't could face fines.

And it would not be another round of extra, special emergency pandemic measures without stressing that specifically business owners will be compensated. Wait, you mean these businesses actually have staff that will be furloughed without pay or let go?And other countries have implemented payroll protection which is simply keep staff on the payroll or no subsidies?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Suga and those at Nagata cho do not understand because they are driven around in private cars and do not need to use public transportation (crowded trains, etc.) like the average Japanese citizen.

Suga and those do not understand because they are guaranteed medical care (i.e.: an ICU) if they do get seriously ill from Covid.

Suga and those do not understand because they are prioritized for vaccines, etc.

Suga does not understand nor does he care one bit about the average Japanese citizen.

The selfish and disgusting "Olympics at all cost" push by these bozos is the worst thing I have seen in my 25 years here.

35 ( +35 / -0 )

Suga stressed his commitment to holding the games safely and securely while protecting Japanese by strictly controlling the movements of foreign participants, including possibly expelling journalists covering the event if they defy regulations.

This completely miss the more important danger in holding a huge event with thousands over thousands of participants in a city with an ongoing expansion of cases. Specifically, there is no advantage on restricting the movement of foreign participants if they are still going to mingle constantly with thousands of local volunteers that commute daily and can act as vectors of transmission towards and from the Olympic venues.

31 ( +32 / -1 )

The petition says money spent on the games would be better used on people in financial need because of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, ever since the Diamond Princess fiasco, Japan was too obsessed with saving the Olympics and then saving face. Had they more concern about saving its own people, then maybe they would have saved the Olympics.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Despite the worsening infections, Suga stressed his commitment to holding the games safely and securely while protecting Japanese by strictly controlling the movements of foreign participants, including possibly expelling journalists covering the event if they defy regulations.

Suga has hit upon the formula to solve the problem of the shambolic pandemic response teetering on the edge of a precipice Olympics: Corraling foreign journalists and ,of course, the 100 degree bow. Genius!

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Suga repeats determination to hold Olympics as he expands state of emergency

You can stop repeating yourself Suga.

We all got your priorities by now:

Olympics japanese people

22 ( +22 / -0 )

I understand there are various difficulties, but the priority is to stop the further spread of infections and protect the people's lives and health

No Mr. Suga, you do not understand. Because if you did, you would tell the IOC that as the leader of Japan that you have to protect your people and make their safety and security your number one priority and that these games will not be held.

But unfortunately for us this will never happen.

38 ( +38 / -0 )

BANZAI Suga San

-39 ( +2 / -41 )

What the hell is going on? Yesterday 90,000 none participants are are OK? Expanded state of emergency to 9 areas. The government have lost any semblance of control.

‘And this! by strictly controlling the movements of foreign participants, including possibly expelling journalists covering the event if they defy regulations. What regulations specifically are the journalists bound by?

‘That is pretty scary Burma style.

‘The wheels have totally fallen off but Suga and his ilk will ignore everything, everybody. Clutching at their childish pride as they sink into ridicule and obscurity's depths. Leaving just another failure of epic proportions as a legacy.

39 ( +39 / -0 )

.......protecting Japanese by strictly controlling the movements of foreign participants......

Oh, c'mon, don't worry too much about protecting the Japanese and controlling foreign participants.

You have a problem at home! Take care of that one first, after that it's still enough time to worry about other urgent points on the agenda that need to be solved!

37 ( +37 / -0 )

I’m with the PM on this one!

-52 ( +3 / -55 )

More pseudo lockdowns, more reassurances of "safety"... His actions don't match his words. It's plain to see how bad the situation is, yet he won't just cancel the games! It gets more absurd every day.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Suga repeats determination to hold Olympics as he expands state of emergency

Current administration support from public only get 32.2%

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/05/14/national/suga-cabinet-record-low/

22 ( +22 / -0 )

possibly expelling journalists

Possibly, maybe, considering, debating...

The modus operandi of an inept government and "leader" with no sense of accountability.

30 ( +35 / -5 )

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