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People march around Tokyo's National Stadium during an anti-Olympics demonstration on Sunday night. Image: AP/Eugene Hoshiko

Suga says he has never put Olympics first and that IOC has final say


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"I have never put the Olympics first" and "the IOC has the final say on the fate of the games" are not compatible statements. Letting the IOC have final say IS putting the Olympics first, by definition!

64 ( +68 / -4 )

So in Japan IOC has more decision power than the Japanese government... They probably need to find a better excuse...

62 ( +63 / -1 )

He repeated that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say on the fate of the Games

what a load of crock - Suga can simply say the games are cancelled because its too dangerous, and there is not a damn thing the IOC can do about it.

58 ( +59 / -1 )

So, who does have the final say? I had heard that Japan, as host country, had the final say.

48 ( +49 / -1 )

Not exactly inspire optimism but at least is a positive development, accepting that the first priority has to be either the games or the public health is the first step into accepting the whole thing is a mistake.

What I worry about is that maybe Suga knows something the public don't that finally have made him accept this. If that is the case then the situation is even worse than what is presented by the government.

39 ( +41 / -2 )

Suga is really running scared now. He's trying to distance himself from The Games now that he knows they can't possibly save his political future.

40 ( +41 / -1 )

A total shambles.

Asked in a Diet committee meeting whether the Games will continue even if COVID-19 infections spike, Suga replied: "I've never put the Olympics first".

"My priority has been to protect the lives and health of the Japanese population. We must first prevent the spread of the virus," he added.

Liar liar, pants on fire!

43 ( +44 / -1 )

He's right you know. He puts himself first. Not the public, not the government he's failing to lead. I still believe a stray cat would be far less damaging than this self serving goat.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Most contracts have a war or natural disaster clause

"force majeure"

But I guess in the case of suga and the ioc its Force Manure, ............

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Why? This is the word that should start every question that should be asked at every breifing, news conference and event related to the upcoming games that happens from this moment forward. There are an endless number of why questions that should be raised. Here are just a few. Why are these games going forward when cases of COVID, hospitalizations and deaths are reaching daily record numbers in the host country? Why hold these games, when the majority of the host countries own popluation wants them cancelled? Why is it that the government of Japan doesn't seem to grasp the situation at hand and realize it taking medical professionals away from where they are needed most? Why are athletes being given priority to shots that should be going to those who desperately need them as they are at risk because of age or pre-exisiting medical conditions? Why? Why? Why? Why does that government and the IOC lie and tell us that they can deliver a safe and secure games? Why not tell us the truth and say that it has nothing to do with the games and has everything to do about the IOC and it's coffers. Why indeed. It just goes to show when you are dealing not with one individual, but rather a powerful global institution, such as the IOC, you can ask all the why questions you want. You will never get the truth. You will only be sold a bunch of lies. Lies that will cost lives.

35 ( +36 / -1 )

I like to believe that a sports organisation does not have the power to override the government of Japan or any other country.

32 ( +33 / -1 )

Complete and utter BS. And the other day he said IOC has no say in what Japan does and should be quiet about the state of emergency, or another rep did anyway. And the IOC says it’s up to the host nation

16 ( +25 / -9 )

Asked in a Diet committee meeting whether the Games will continue even if COVID-19 infections spike, Suga replied: "I've never put the Olympics first".

"My priority has been to protect the lives and health of the Japanese population. We must first prevent the spread of the virus," he added.

Boy I can smell the horse manure all the way here in the office.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Suga wants to deflect potential blame to the IOC's and their intransience, for any spikes in infections and deaths which may result from the games being held.

18 ( +18 / -0 )


I think many people, including me, are for a postponement rather than a cancellation. Apparently, this option was not proposed in the possible answers for this survey.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

If these people are so unhappy about Olympics happening in "the world," why don't they just not watch them on TV and go on with their lives?

On a side note, Shinzo Abe was smart when he quit the job last year. The Olympics go on or not, whoever is in the Prime Minister's chair is going down politically speaking.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Athletes getting vaccines before others? No foreign spectators? Taking away doctors and nurses for the games? Nope... never putting the Games first.

10 ( +21 / -11 )

International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say

I thought the dinosaurs of the LDP ran this country for themselves and not for the people.

If the IOC has all this power, why not order the Japanese military to do some marching?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Pathetic. Japans image is well and truly in the dirt over these games and he’s just stomping it down deeper

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Postpone it till next year that way those athletes can have a bit of breathing space but still maintain form and compete. Summer/winter Olympics on the same year.

Japan has to sort out its vaccination logistics and work with its eternal rival, China. An olive branch to the CCP (who may not deserve it, but get one anyway, you know the Olympic spirit ) who are not going to take well to the Boycott China Olympics movement already in swing.

Avoid a war even ( or a Taiwan invasion by a spited and pissed off CCP ) , that would be nice. A simpletons approach Im sure but not impossible. Three birds with one stone. Isseki 3cho !

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Obviously trying to save his own neck by deferring responsibility to the IOC. Unless the infection rate miraculously goes down dramatically just in the nick of time, and the Games become a resounding success, in which case Suga will make sure he gets the credit for it. But by clearly distancing himself from any responsibility for the decision at this point, he kind of signals that he doesn't believe that this is a very likely scenario...

20 ( +20 / -0 )

IOC says it's up to the host country.

The host country says it's up to the IOC.

Which one is lying? It's really hard to say as both are completely corrupt and inept.

exactly my thought, yesterday we had the article saying IOC were sure game will be held because the prime minister repeated the game can be held safely.

we are running into an infinite loop

18 ( +18 / -0 )

There's no way the IOC has more rank over a nation's government. Two ways of looking at this. 1. The Japanese government is really weak. 2. The IOC has more power over old Suga. IMO, it's both. I'm sure even the people have more power over the government.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

If the games are cancelled, then all the Olympic venues will automatically be converted into UNESCO cultural heritage sites, in honour of the efforts spent to win the votes to hold the games here, and build these sports arenas!

Win-Win for everyone.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Incredible how these old dudes in power will take zero responisbility for their (in)actions when it comes to doing thier job in the first place - leading the people

21 ( +21 / -0 )

This is disgusting.

How Suga and the IOC are trying desperately everything in order to save their Olympics which are no more in terms of Olympics spirit.

It is just a powerful business made by an elite group of very wealthy and cynical people.

Until last year they tried to masquerade their true face telling us that these Olympics will be a victory over the pandemic but then when they realized that Covid with it’s very dangerous variants is still here and people are struggling they now have no more excuses to throw at the masses so they just defend this abomination in square.

And Suga telling us that basically the IOC is running the show and he’s powerless is even more disgusting.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

It is already "ordinal" since previous Abe government that Japan's PM repeats lies shamelessly.

His priority is vested interests such as travel industries or Olympic business, never "the lives and health of the Japanese".

Even vaccination to all domestic medical workers are not yet finished in Japan. but vaccination to Olympians will be prioritized.

Japanese general public cannot yet get PCR test freely, there are even area where people are compelled to wait for PCR test over a week despite clear corona virus symptom, but All Olympics related people can get PCR test everyday.

Anger from citizen is natural. but Japan's news shows avoid to report about anti-Olympics demonstration march as ever.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

At this point in time, I feel Japan is in a pretty rough spot.

We don't know every bit of specifics over the contract, but I would guess they are in a proverbial game of chicken: whoever pulls the trigger on the cancellation will have to bear a more substantial portion of the cancellation cost. Japan would probably love to cancel the olympics at this point, but realistically can't without having to eat significant penalties with no chance to recoup it. The IOC doesn't want to cancel because well...they want their money one way or the other.

I don't see either side flinching, so the olympics will probably happen. Not because they should happen, but because everyone is too scared about losing money.

In the future, people are going to take REAL close look at the force majeure clauses in their contracts.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Suga says he has never put Olympics first and that IOC has final say

Says Suga because he doesn't want Japan to be financially responsible - not that there's any way out of it now...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

How could IOC have final say in running an event that is held in Japan? That is crazy!

Suga never put the Olympics first?

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Is it a typo??? Shouldn't it be:

"Suga says he has never put Olympics first BUT that IOC has final say"

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If IOC cancels the Olympics then they will have to return the money back to sponsors (which is roughly 70% of the total revenue of IOC).

If Japan cancels then they have to pay a hefty fine to IOC running into billion dollars.

So, clearly it's a big lie that Lives and well-being of people are being prioritised. Sadly it's all about $$$

13 ( +13 / -0 )

"Suga says he has never put Olympics first and that IOC has final say". Bit of an oxymoron isn't it? If the Prime Minister delegates his decision-making responsibilities to the International Olympic Committee, then isn't he therefore putting the Olympics first?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Screw him, his feckless government, and the stinking corrupt IOC full of gravy-train riders like Coe and Coates.

I hope every athlete knows that if they take part in this, their defense against future charges of aiding and abetting an event that led to thousands of deaths and untold suffering for the sake of vested corporate interests will be on a par with those Nazi camp guards who used to claim "I was just following orders".

9 ( +13 / -4 )

How fast do the tables turn?

12 ( +13 / -1 )


12 ( +12 / -0 )

No other way to say it: he is a lying coward

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I had heard that Japan, as host country, had the final say.

I'd like to think the buck stops with Tokyo and not Japan. It is the Tokyo Olympics, not the Japan Olympics. People elsewhere had little say in hosting it. Why should they suffer from the mess?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Even if Japan has to pay big penalties according to the one-sided host country contract, it remains to be seen where and how the IOC would take the matter to justice. It would be absolutely disastrous in terms of image for them and limit even more the list of future candidates to hold the Games. Also, good luck to prove in court that a global pandemic is not a “force majeure” or that “force majeure” does not apply to IOC contract.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A couple months ago I read somewhere that the ioc has invested billions of dollars Japan has invested billions of dollars. Whoever cancels will probably be liable to pay the other or something like that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Guarantee that if the IOC starts hinting at postponement again or cancellation Suga would say it’s not up the them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I do hope "foreign spectators will be barred" doesn't include me - I have two tickets.

(20 year resident from the UK)

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Unbelievable. Today I learned that, according to Suga, Japan is not a sovereign nation and that an international body gets to decide whether an event takes place here or not.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

So the whole world should be listening to a corrupt body called the IOC and not to scientists/ data/statistics. What a joke ! It's all about sponsors and money.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Wait, so Suga has abdicated control of the country and its health to the IOC?

Well, they've already stated categorically yesterday that the 'Games can not be cancelled.'

I agree with all the other harsh comments toward Suga, and Ego Sum Lux Mundi above has hit the nail on the head.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Nice try but that is so lame!!!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Suga kun. You are a liar and a coward. My 80 year old in laws will get their first vaccine in June and second in July while young healthy people associated with these games are jumpy the line. And where did these new ginned up numbers come from? A sudden drop to 65%? I call BS

13 ( +13 / -0 )

So it seems the real Prime Minister of Japan is the Australian, John Coates. And here I thought Japan was a sovereign nation whose Prime Minister had the ultimate authority over the nation.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Closer look at contract giving IOC power over Tokyo 2020 fate


* The Olympics Games and all relevant rights – including broadcasting, reproduction, and staging rights - are the exclusive property of the IOC.

* The organisers must protect the IOC from any damages or claims related to the organising of the Games. This means the organisers may compensate the IOC for the damages they suffer, as well as payments the IOC is asked to make by third parties such as Olympic sponsors or broadcasters.

* The IOC can make changes to the Olympic program at any time. Such changes may include adding or deleting sports. The organisers bear the cost of those changes.

* Only the IOC can cancel the Olympics. The reason for doing so could be one of the following.........

Whatever ones opinion, personally of Suga san, the PM is correct.

It is time this so called sporting festival was forced to accept fundamental change.

Of course the Japanese Government can just ignore the IOC and sight exceptional circumstances and refuse to honor the signed contract.

There is little or nothing the IOC could do about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What !!!! How delusional!!!! His actions speak louder than his words !!!! Unbelievable

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I am stupid and believe everything what others say without thinking about it. But in this case.... lol

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The purportedly sovereign government of Japan has no say over the actions of an unelected international business organisation within what is purportedly its jurisdiction?

On the whole I think it’s probable they have a badly drawn contract that will cost them heavily if they cancel as others have suggested.

Not a good look for a country that is supposed to be trade and business orientated!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

In my country we have an expression that states that Suga san’s statement is a kid’s fairytale. Is he the leader of Japan and Japanese government or are IOC leaders of Japan? I just hope that Japanese people will properly punish LDP during the next elections for their negligence.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Is the IOC the government in Japan, now? Absolutely ludicrous. Museum piece, Suga, and all the others need to step aside right now. The lot of them are useless and totally ineffective. They are a laughing stock internationally and a total embarrassment.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What a load of bollocks!!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The "leader" of the host country awkwardly distances himself from the Olympics. Brilliant!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Kudos! to the “*Olympics Kill the Poor**banner (pictured, left of the ‘red light’) and its diligent, five elderly bearers who have been at it steadily. Their ‘Picture of the Day’ from Feb 13, ‘21 “no longer available” *but we can still see them here:

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1104239/japan-set-to-rollout-covid-19-vaccines -

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Typical Japan........push the blame on someone else and no one "takes responsibility" when things go bad. It's funny, when things go well, it's ME ME ME!!!! When it's bad, YOU YOU YOU........

Hey Suga, man up and do something if you REALLY mean what you "think" you are saying.

Bottom line, you're worthless, like any other member of the current Diet.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Typo in the headline.

Suga states exact opposite of reality, hopes no one notices

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It’s called blame shifting! He’s not very good at it and has bad listening skills!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I'm shocked. 60% against. Seriously thought it would be higher than that.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Fellows, read this - https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/05/05/japan-ioc-olympic-contract/

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yoshihide Suga said on Monday that he has never "put the Olympics first"

Abe and Koike did for sure.

So this is a perfect storm for the colossal losers who run the LDP. They dithered on an active response to the virus so that Japan has very few inoculations. The general population is at huge risk. The LDP did not or could not set up medical systems to handle a spike in the virus so Osaka and Tokyo cannot handle a spike in the infection rates, which we seem to be experiencing. Also the Go Japan campaign was insane and is in part why infections rose so dramatically earlier this year. Really the LDP is criminally responsible for the increasing death rates in Japan due to mismanagement of the pandemic. There is no excuse for this total failure. At least with Trump you knew he was fine with 100000s of Americans dying, he did not care about them, but in Japan the government knows the basic welfare of the people is their number one task.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Suga clearly demonstrated his concern for the lives of Japanese by keeping foreigners out (but allowing Japanese to come in), quarantine requirements for foreigners (but not always for Japanese), subsidizing Japanese to help spread the virus to local areas through the various Go To campaigns, continuously thinking that throwing money at people will contain the virus, not subsidizing hospitals to increase beds and ventilators, ignoring the advice of experts, ......and the list goes on and on. To be honest, I cannot think of one action that government has taken that demonstrates anything beyond "concern" for the Olympic, their own legacy and propping up their base of small restaurants and bars.....that...heck did ya know it....are petri dishes for the spread of the virus. All in all, Suga's policies have actively RESULTED in the spread of the virus.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

P. Smith, I could froth confidently on tax or financial regulation, legislative monetary policy.

However, to forcefully instruct the IOC, "on your bike sonny jim" it's your problem, so sort it out.

How would the IOC enforce such a contract?

Lawyers would have this tied up in knots for generations.

Best the IOC approach the Government of China,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ikejin, good spot Force Majeure, I had to look that up.

Force Majeure


-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The host country (Japan) first of all puts a disclaimer on athletes by telling them to come at their own risk (re. Playbook), then the host countries PM relinguishes responsibility to host the games. Who on earth would want to show up to this in the current situation.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

60 to 65% wants the games cancelled!! I say the GAMES are DEAD on arrival.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Whether or not Japan has to pay contractually mandated cancellation penalties, Japan is a sovereign nation and can do whatever is necessary. For Suga to state otherwise is unbelievable. Where are the calls for Suga’s immediate resignation?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The caliber of Japanese Executive Decision Making. "Push decision making onto someone else as I don't want the responsibility." The same that we see in the COVID situation, indecisiveness and just plain lost. I think Japan will continue to suffer 30 to 40 years into the future with such management.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japanese people have to stop putting someone else to blame. Be a good example Prime-minister suga, Be the first to admit u are the final decision maker and show good example to younger people. We cannot go on scapegoating others.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I watched most of the Diet session today. If these are the people leading us here in Japan, then we are doomed.

It was just pathetic looking at their refusal to answer questions.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

BULL. If you really cared then tel the IOC to get lost.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I hear that an election will come up in Tokyo in September. Those who can vote, remember this. You can vote them out. I’m sure the LDP has lost face badly, but I’m not sure if losing face has the same value it did back in the 80s and earlier.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Then, who did? Biden?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Foreign spectators are not allowed, so the economic incentives of hospting the Games for Japan are over.

The inspirational side of holding the Olympics - to showcase victory of mankind over the pandemic - is also dim with Covid raging across the Globe with no signs of subsiding in the near future.

Japan will face global shaming if Olympice become a super spreader event.

Suga might be facing the ire of public right now (rightly so), but history will be kinder to him if he finds the courage to take the right decision and cancel the Olympics.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think Suga forgot he's supposed to run the country. Pathetic.

Forged his way into power unelected and via shady backroom deals... and has demonstrated zero leadership or political competence so far.

We no like.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is appalling! I thought Suga is supposed to be 'running the country' [ allegedly....] not the IOC.

This madness must be postponed for another year at least, until the nation is back to normal.

The lives, welfare and well-being of everyone is more important than a minority of sports enthusiasts and commercial beneficiaries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suga says he has never put Olympics first and that IOC has final say

So you never put the Olympics first but you let the Olympics decide everything???

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yea yea just like Suga promised to have the virus under control in a month starting from January 7th..

Just another lie from the office of the Lie minister

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Suga: "Its all Abe's, I mean, the ioc's fault." lol

Force majeure, how cosmopolitan sounding. That might work.

If suga were to resign because of this who would be in charge, aso, again? lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The IOC has the right to decide who can hold the Olympics but it doesn't mean they have the right to say Japan can't decline or cancel the olympics

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We need an Army to stop the Olympics. Goodbye Olympics. Please wait until the pandemic is under control idiots LDP

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK technically Suga is correct.

The contract with the IOC ( the same all other host agree to) states only the IOC can cancel.

Now sure Japan could unilaterally cancel and I suspect that is exactly what the IOC is hoping for.

If the IOC cancels no one gets any compensation, not broadcasting companies, not sponsors, (again in the contract same as previous games) but the IOC also doesn't get the insurance.

If Tokyo unilaterally cancels then Tokyo will be responsible for compensating everyone and the IOC gets it's insurance money.

So basically sure Japan can cancel but without IOC making the call, Tokyo will be paying out severe Billion dollars in competition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He repeated that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say on the fate of the Games and that the government's role is to take steps so they can be held safely.

All of you world government supporters take note. When the chips are down in your town, the folks half a planet away could care less about your “democracy”. And this is just over sports! Unreal.

Cede your sovereignty to international organizations and this is what you get. The Japanese people lose their voice and an international sporting organization gets control and lots of cash from huge corporations. What is the world coming to?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good to see the Japanese tennis stars starting to say what many are saying across the world


Need more voices from the sports community to put an end to this madness.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr Suga, show us leadership, show us WE are more important than CASH.

We see you as weak and incapable.

Show some SPINE, show some Intestinal Testinal Fortitude.

Cancel The Games for the Good Of Our People And Country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's right now, Suga. Shrug your responsibility, pass the buck. 'Not me'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Billions of dollars wasted. Tokyo has to host the Olympics. Is it smart? No. But they have to put on the stupid extravaganza because of how much of our taxes they have already spent on it. Tokyo was the most idiotic to locate the games in the first place

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Suga just Jumped Ship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bach and Coates decide what's good for Japan and the Japanese.

Suga is just a vice-principal at school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is Japan, a sovereign state. Japan does not belong to the IOC. It is for the Japanese government to decide the Olympic question, and the Japanese people have made their opinion plain: CANCEL!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I'm not really the leader of this country, business interests are."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He (Suga) repeated that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say on the fate of the Games and that the government's role is to take steps so they can be held safely.

Isn't Japan a sovereign country? Doesn't the popularly-elected government of Japan have the authority to cancel the games, which are clearly a threat to public health and welfare?

Or does the International Olympic Committee exercise extraterritorial power in this country, like the old British East India Company? Otherwise, the IOC would not be able to order Japan to do what it wants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not believe Suga. He words and actions speak otherwise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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