The Olympic rings stand on a barge in Tokyo Bay. Photo: REUTERs file
2020 tokyo olympics

Koike says 'simplified' Games may be necessary to avoid cancellation

38 Comments
By Jack Tarrant

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike said on Thursday it may be necessary to a stage a "simplified" Olympics next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and that organizers were already discussing possible changes.

Koike's comments came after the Yomiuri newspaper reported that various options, such as mandatory coronavirus testing and having fewer spectators, were being considered by organizers.

John Coates, the head of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) inspectorate for Tokyo, has said organizers had to plan for what could be a "very different" Olympics if there were no signs of COVID-19 being eradicated.

"Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games calls for sympathy and understanding of Tokyoites and the Japanese people," Koike told reporters. "For that, we need to rationalize what needs to be rationalized and simplify what needs to be simplified."

The Yomiuri, citing government and organizing committee sources, said making Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests mandatory for all spectators -- in addition to athletes and staff -- and limiting movement in and out of the athletes village were among the options Japan would discuss with the IOC.

At a regular briefing Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya did not confirm the details of the Yomiuri report but said stakeholders were looking at ways to "optimize and streamline the scope and service levels in preparing for the Games".

"At this stage, we have no concrete outcome yet but we are keen to continue the discussions," said Takaya.

"The spread of the novel coronavirus ... is something very ambiguous and we have no ability to completely understand what the situation will look like next year."

The IOC and Japanese government in March took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July. A further delay beyond 2021 has been ruled out.

The new coronavirus has infected more than 6.4 million people and killed about 380,000 around the world. Japan has had some 17,000 infections and 900 known deaths to date.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
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I want to put a priority on concerns/wills of participating athletes who seek honor in the Games (and avoid health hazard).

A proposal is to diversify locations even out of Tokyo across the entire country in order to avoid big crowds. Though this may breach the Olympics' "city host" principle, I think it more plausible under the crisis.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Here's my proposal. Tokyo 2024, Paris 2028, LA 2032.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Like I said in another 2020 thread, I think we are at a 50:50 chance at best now...….

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The Yomiuri, citing government and organizing committee sources, said making Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests mandatory for all spectators -- in addition to athletes and staff -- and limiting movement in and out of the athletes village were among the options Japan would discuss with the IOC.

Now, one problem is that a test today means you are clear today.

It doesn't guarantee that you will be clear tomorrow. Or the day after.

The US navy is now testing everyone every 5 days (on some vessels).

Another problem is, what is meant by "staff"?

And finally,what do you do with contact sports like Judo, wrestling and so on?

gary

7 ( +7 / -0 )

From my research, SARS CoV-2 will be a severe advanced version of seasonal influenza. It will swap and mutate from southern to northern hemispheres.

until we understand fully, 2024 is the best option.

Politicians to save face, or keep related salaries is not in the best interests of japan.

2024 Tokyo Olympics and 2025 Osaka Expo. The world needs this.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Koike did not go into details but said such discussions were necessary.

WTH is a "simplified" Olympics? Holding the game in Ueno park in front of a hundred spectators?

> Here's my proposal. Tokyo 2024, Paris 2028, LA 2032.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Tokyo2024, but that would be very expensive. The cost of rebranding of the merchandise and logos alone from Tokyo 2020 to Tokyo 2024 would be in the billions. Secondly, it would become a whole separate event that businesses and vendors would have to prepare for all over again, four years from now. Businesses need a return on investment from what they spent for Tokyo 2020, or some will be in danger of bankruptcy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, weightlifting.

That's all you need.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games calls for sympathy and understanding of Tokyoites and the Japanese people," Koike told reporters.

"For that, we need to rationalize what needs to be rationalized and simplify what needs to be simplified."

Gibberish, gobbledygook.

Billions have been invested from Japan hard pressed tax payers. To make attention seeking statements without providing any detail into the economic repercussions is vacuous and irresponsible.

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike has a single agenda, re-election.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Geez. Couldn't someone at least have spray painted the barge white, black, or consult a graffiti artist to make it presentable during the daytime? Even the emblems of the athletics and venues would have looked better.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Here's my proposal. Tokyo 2024, Paris 2028, LA 2032.

Exactly. I suggested the same thing in January or so.

But this talk of simplifying things is the first step in canceling them altogether.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here's my proposal. Athens 2024, Athens 2028, Athens 2032 etc

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"For that, we need to rationalize what needs to be rationalized and simplify what needs to be simplified."

Hmm, this English expression is kind of puzzle, she is thinking of Tokyo and pandemic is the world, I can't simplify and how can she?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cancel it. Stop pouring money into this white elephant.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@jefflee.

just judo, figure skating, women’s soccer and baseball.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Here's my proposal. Athens 2024, Athens 2028, Athens 2032 etc

I wonder what the people of Athens think about that?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The world will not be recovered this year or the next so it's already a loss.

Also it's the Beijing games again in 2022, who would want to support that? Pass

China is a real blight on the world, no way we all just forget about it. A games there just enables their tyranny not loosen it as was the idea way back in 2008. Didn't happen. It got worse

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It will be like Olympic games in prison camp...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I really don’t like this woman’s authoritative, bossy tone, it often sounds like ordering. It would be more comforting if she knew what she was talking about at least, but she doesn’t. Most people have figured that out by now.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Here's my proposal. Athens 2024, Athens 2028, Athens 2032 etc

I wonder what the people of Athens think about that?

I believe there is widespread support for the idea.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

False hope

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quite many qualified athletes have been forced to retire or stay in limbo due to the virus-led mass cancellation or delays. Their performance peak is short-lived. Only a top few (mostly in professional status) are super-rich while vast majority athletes are struggling to make ends meet. Fine, if you claim that they are categorized as "non-essential." I feel like standing by their side in support of event openings in whatever format.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Businesses need a return on investment from what they spent for Tokyo 2020, or some will be in danger of bankruptcy.

That's a lot more than some, by all accounts. The LDP bet the house on the Olympics and lost; many companies borrowed money to refurbish hotels, ryokan, restaurants and the like in the hope of surfing the Olympic tourism boom. Now they're completely fecked.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Really which athlete would want a medal from the "simplified" corona Games? Just do it properly or cancel it. And concentrate all resources on Japan's recovery post pandemic.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

just judo, figure skating, women’s soccer and baseball.

Figure skating is in the Winter Olympics as far as I know. Also, figure skating is not a sport. It is nonsensical preening with silly costumes.

I’d argue that football shouldn’t be in the Olympics because we already have more important football competitions. Baseball is a sport with limited appeal as it is played in few countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a photo!

The down to earth brushcutter ( kusakariki in local speech ) makes it into the lofty world of politics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo 2024 sounds good to me.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Koike has to rid Tokyo of the virus first before some parody of the Games can be held..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tokyo 2024 sounds good to me.

Japan could be bankrupt by then.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wonder what the people of Athens think about that?

Will probably be relieved to know they have more (enough) time to prepare.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Olympic barge is a perfect microcosm of the whole shebang.

Flashy showboat colors on top but just a cursory glance and it’s clearly a rusty brown piece of junk and that’s just above the waterline...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games calls for sympathy and understanding of Tokyoites and the Japanese people,"

But not the athletes from abroad or foreign spectators, tourists, or residents.

Sorry, but I am sensing we're already seeing the beginning of a long and arduous walking back process where Koike will once again deny, obfuscate, and deflate numbers and inflate need to avoid cancellation of the Games, much like nothing else mattered until the postponement of 2020 to 2021. More blood will be on her hands, and it'll end up either being canned completely anyway, or Japan and the few nations it manages to bribe to come. Nothing short of ALL nations that would otherwise participate actually taking part will qualify it as an actual Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who cares about the Olympics? Cancel the damn thing. What Japan is considering is to use Covid19 as an excuse to ban some countries from participating.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Nobody has any idea how july-august 2020is going to go, so saying we definitely can or can't have a regular olympics next year is hearsay.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That barge needs a serious paint job!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There's 1 simple way to have a simple 5 ring circus - hold them in Greece forever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Simplified games means what? Keep out America, England, Australia, Russia, Spain, Brazil? That way, Japan might win something other than...table tennis?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cut it back to sports that have an Olympic medal as the highest accolade. So bye bye tennis, golf, baseball etc and drop the Paralympics..... host cities are forced to hold them as a set with the olympics as nobody really has an interest. Sorry, but its true.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

GoodlucktoyouJune 4 03:30 pm JST@jefflee.

just judo, figure skating, women’s soccer and baseball

Goodluck, too funny, but I could see Japan willing to go for that, but might be hard to swing figure skating LOL!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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