tokyo 2020 olympics

3 weeks before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

74 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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There is an old saying, "It is better to be safe than sorry".

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Well, here’s 1 ‘certainty’ we can always bank on:

“*Japanese PM Suga *still uncertain . . .”

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Japanese Government has been unsure about everything since the pandemic started.

As a result IOC has made the decisions instead.

Note for the future: being passive is not the way.

30 ( +32 / -2 )

Jesus, they still don’t get it do they?

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Really hope they'll have it without. First for safety reasons, just look at what's going on with the Euro. 

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/who-warns-third-coronavirus-wave-europe-2021-07-01/

Second because the IOC and NBC just deserve to show the dullest Games in the history, for having so greedily and stubbornly imposed the Games THIS year. Not to mention the stupid mid-summer dates in the first place.

I hope TV audience will crash and the whole thing leads to an in-depth reform of the IOC.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

3 weeks before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

What Japan really sure recently? Vaccine roll out that's not until just few months ago even Japan already received vaccine months before that. Unsure about lot of things even it's something that obvious.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Unbelievable. So much wish washy from this inept government. If the citizens don’t vote the LDP out next election, Japan has no future.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

A lot of people I know in Japan aren't exactly go with the flow, spur of the moment decision type of people. Just take a stance for once and cancel the fans. I have a feeling they are going to cancel a few days before as everyone has made their hotel and travel reservations.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Why can't dead-eyes Suga just say "No"?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I read elsewhere the most likely scenario:

With the current plan it is 50% capacity or 10,000 spectators, whichever is lower, this is without any SOE or "quasi"-SOE.

But Tokyo will probably need to extend the "quasi" emergency at least.

Under the "quasi" limitations, it would mean a spectator cap of 5000 max at any venue.

But by not deciding this yet, it will be impossible to scale-down and then re-do the ticket lottery in time to allow the new cap before the Olympics.

So, with the new quasi limit, they will probably need to scrap having spectators at any venue which was set to have over 5000 people under the current plan. This means smaller venues like for fencing may have the fans, but big places like for athletics, swimming, etc will have none. Including the stadium for the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

Oh, and for the spectator-less Opening/Closing, it will only be attended by athletes which are permitted to be in the Olympic Village on the day of the ceremony (this was decided months ago). Though athletes may be at training camps around Japan, they can only stay at the Village within 5 days before their event, and up to 2 days after completing their event.

So expect only about half the athletes at either ceremony, and for some small countries which only have a handful or just one or two athletes, their entire country will not be present for at least the Opening or Closing, depending on when their event is scheduled.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Have to feel sorry for organizers and local businesses if no spectators. Also the Olympic is held for the spirit of the Tohoku people and the light of the world post Covid.

-27 ( +1 / -28 )

It should be no surprise to anyone with a slight familiarity with the Japanese government that it can’t make a timely decision. It took the government 9 days and another atomic bomb to decide to surrender at the end of WWII.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Tomorrow: spectators limited to 36.44637% of capacity or 8,557 people, whichever is greater and depending on the color of the socks Suga is wearing.

Sunday: All spectators banned unless it is sunny and the spectators promise not to be visibly genki.

Monday: spectators allowed as long as they are women, aged between 28 and 37.3 years old, who have resided in Setagaya for no more than thirteen minutes.

Tuesday: All spectators banned unless Baron von Ripper-off countermands the order.

Wednesday: Suga gives up and leaves the decision to a magic 8-ball.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

They are waiting for their masters, the IOC to dictate the final decision to Japan. We will hear of this when the decree is handed down to Suga.

The glorious games will move forward and bring peace and enlightenment to all. Praise Koch!!!!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Indecisiveness is a sure sign of weak leadership. COVID has been around for over a year and a half so it is not going away anytime soon. It will still be here is 3 weeks and spectators at the Olympics will intensify the super-spreader event that it will already become.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This from Suga -

“We will take steps as we prioritize safety and security of the people.”

Absolutely shameless - not sure how he can sleep in the night by continuing to utter such blatant lies/falsehoods which everyone knows is not the truth

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Also the Olympic is held for the spirit of the Tohoku people and the light of the world post Covid.

You got to be kidding. So far it's been about the largest transfer of Japan's public wealth to private corporations, overriding people's health and human rights for cashola, and lining the pockets of the IOC. The Olympic Spirit is the cha-ching sound of a cash register

18 ( +20 / -2 )

So in short situation is that holding the games in the first place is not justified, and including more people to further increase the risk of spreading of the infection is only going to make things worse, but on the other side some very influential people would lose money with the games (along with the rest of the country) so the organizers are trying to grasp at straws to avoid it. The problem is that at this point they are running out of straws.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

sakurasukiToday  06:57 am JST

3 weeks before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

What Japan really sure recently? Vaccine roll out that's not until just few months ago even Japan already received vaccine months before that. Unsure about lot of things even it's something that obvious.

This is the critical point. Knowing full well the Olympics were coming, exactly why did Japan stumble when it came the vaccine rollout?

If there was ever a chance for the Japanese government to learn the lesson that endless meetings and stalling don't cut it some times, this is it. Questions need to be answered.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Faat soop! I don't think I'll miss anything. My kids are more important. The sad thing is before this mess, I looked forward to the Olympics. However, when politics, money, and arrogance took over the health and safety of the Olympics, my respect when down.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

When is Suga ever sure of anything since he took office? No half-asleep person is sure of anything, that is for sure.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

“We will take steps as we prioritize safety and security of the people.”

This is like saying a zebra can change it's stripes, just because he says he can! What Suga says, can not be trusted!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The only problem is the canceling paper still not signed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

And when Japan pulls off the Olympics and the emerging superstars from overseas remind us what we are capable in extraordinary conditions, all of those bitter critics and keyboard experts will fall quiet. Already having some wow moments watching the various athletes emerge from the chaos. The rest of all of this is just noise. In whatever form it takes , I can’t wait. There will be spectators by the way, just watch; and no, sorry folks, the sky will not fall.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

@sf2k

Also the Olympic is held for the spirit of the Tohoku people and the light of the world post Covid.

You got to be kidding. So far it's been about the largest transfer of Japan's public wealth to private corporations, overriding people's health and human rights for cashola, and lining the pockets of the IOC. The Olympic Spirit is the cha-ching sound of a cash register.

Perhaps those of us who have criticized the games need to step back and take a look at to see the bigger picture. The great Koch, Sebastian Coe, and John Coates will ensure that every household in Tohoku gets a 50 kG allotment of rice to lift their spirity and they will then share their light with the world. We know this because through their statements up until now they have shown so much concern and compassion towards the Japanese citizens.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

japanese leadership at its best

9 ( +12 / -3 )

In a city that still has thousands of new cases every week I don’t think it will make much difference whether they allow spectators or not. The new case numbers are still going to grow.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

3 weeks before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

3 hours before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

*fixed****

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The great Koch, Sebastian Coe, and John Coates 

I know you have your tongue in your cheek, but Coe is a conservative politician. That is literally the only thing you need to know about him.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Just another survey which is going on at multiple news sites and social media which I'm sure multiple LDP minions poring over.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

shogun36Today  08:27 am JST

3 weeks before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

3 hours before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

I see your “3 hours before” and raise you a “3 weeks after”.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan uncertain do unable to make a decision? You don’t say!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Organizers last week decided to allow up to 10,000 spectators or 50% of venue capacity if emergency measures are lifted before the games.

Heard from a source who is ITK that these official spectator numbers won’t include all the corporates who of course will be attending.

The corporate boxes will be used, and many of the people using them will be flown in from around the world.

So the whole ‘no foreign fans’ is BS.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

No one can be sure about much with all this covid going on, so I don't blame Suga, but the government here needs to help the people who have been hit financially, the number of suicides is rocketing, that's one thing they should be sure about

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Some dude

The great Koch, Sebastian Coe, and John Coates 

I know you have your tongue in your cheek, but Coe is a conservative politician. That is literally the only thing you need to know about him.

You caught me....or maybe I am seeing the light ..... who knows?

Seriously (and related to the post by @HBJ above and use of private boxes)....I do not see this as "conservative or liberal" thing (I voted for Biden by the way) and I see it equally disgusting that Jill Biden will fly to Japan for the opening ceremony.

As George Carlin once said about the so called "elite" - regardless of political affiliation - "It is a big club and you are not in it" -

Yes we are not in it...perhaps that may explain my "change of heart" or conciliatory tone....recognition that these games will go on simply because NBC, the IOC, the JOC, and others with big money on the line want them to....state of emergency or not....regardless of how the Japanese citizens feel or those of us residing here.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They’re stalling. It’s as clear as day. Japan always does this in difficult situations, they stall and buy more time until somebody overseas makes the decision for them, then it’s not their fault.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Experts say lifting the measures is unthinkable given the virus situation, and daily cases could exceed 1,000 before the Olympics and quickly multiply during the games if measures are delayed.

What? Really?

But, but, but, our 5 "experts" here on vaccine, virus, and Olympics keep telling us all how safe the bubble is, how everything is getting better, how covid is beaten, etc...

I guess these other experts in the article don't know what they are saying because the comment section 5 "experts" keep telling us over and over and over again how everything is under control and nothing to worry about.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

There is an old saying, "It is better to be safe than sorry".

While I can't totally disagree with that saying, its the kind of thinking that encourages incompetent leadership to keep "kicking the can down the road".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This Olympic is very interesting for the reason it is being held during the pandemic. People's concern is not the sport itself but how it can open and continue without confusions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

ahh ffs, again this lame "still", "maybe", "yet" action from JP gov. Next topic please.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So if you're from Sendai and bought a ticket for the women's 56kg wrestling two years ago because the lady from Sendai was ranked fifth in Japan, you're going to have to make plans and arrangements and still not know whether you can go. Businesses do not like people cancelling with less than three weeks to go.

If an emergency is declared, going will probably mean defying a ban/advisory your company has on employees travelling to Tokyo. No-one living in inaka can go around saying "I'm off to Tokyo!" in a big voice at the moment.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And when Japan pulls off the Olympics and the emerging superstars from overseas remind us what we are capable in extraordinary conditions, all of those bitter critics and keyboard experts will fall quiet. 

No we won't. Cases will rise, we just won't know, because are the spectators going to have proof of a negative PCR or vaccine before entering venues?

I'll answer it for you. Spectators will just wear masks and have meaningless temperature checks and sanitize their hands a few times a day.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Whatever number they decide, you have to add the 'Olympic family' members to it!

The IOC, all officials, sponsors, delegates, friends and families are classified as organisers, and are not included in these 5,000 or 10,000 spectators. 

For some of the events, Bottakuri Danshoku and more than 10,000 of the Olympic family might turn up!

However, those organisers who sign off on allowing spectators may also have blood on their hands if people get infected and die, including other athletes, officials, volunteers, their families and friends, and anyone else who may have come into contact with them on their crowded trips in and out of Tokyo,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It was 50% of capacity, then 10,000 spectators, then 20,000, then back to 10,000, and then 5,000, now 0 again.... what's next.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Suga said a decision on spectators will have to be made by a meeting with four other involved parties: The organizing committee, Tokyo, the International Olympic, and Paralympic Committees".

And why not NBC and Procter & Gamble while we're at it?

They should not have to consult the IOC on a national and regional public health issue. Just inform them when the decision is taken.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

its just too annoying.who really cars abt these so called olypics?i wish it could be over today...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The LDP is handling this as just another political "issue", denying it its status as a sanitary / health issue.

Like whenever a scandal shows its ugly nose or figures do not show the expected results, ignoring the problem while applying a little pressure to the top public servants and / or (忖度) Sontaku is called out for, while complicit (Sankei, Kyodo, Jiji) or servile media (the rest of them) just goes along before moving on to other topics.

The problem is that the virus doesn't give a damn about Sontaku and just does what a virus does, taking advantage for its own survival of all of the above which are nothing more than weaknesses when fighting it.

Add to that

(1) Dentsu, which despite being the LDP's pet company and preferred (sub-)service provider (against top cash), is in the doldrums and has started to sell its family jewels starting with its HQ building.

It seems that all the unwarranted cash from the government did not save them from lousy management after all (which may actually explain why they were so dependent on government contracts to start with). Dentsu, heavily involved in the Olympics, would loose big money should the Olympic be cancelled while the LDP is probably heavily depending on Dentsu for their election, especially the general election this year. Again, politics.

(2) LDP politicians who having started their careers or are longing to the heydays for the 60-70s (高度経済成長) Japanese economic miracle or any "better" era for that matters, just want to relive these days, again and again. Did anyone notice how we seem to be stuck in a loop?

1964 Tokyo Olympics vs 2020 Tokyo Olympics

1970 Osaka Universal Expo vs 2025 Osaka Universal Expo

but also the 1998 Nagano Olympics vs the (desired) 2030 Nagano Olympics

I will dare to foresee:

a 2076 Tokyo Olympics

a 2080 Osaka Expo

and a 2062 Nagano Olympics

The LDP just does not seem to be able to get over the end of the Showa Era (and Heisei too).

(3) The LDP not wanting to lose face against China and their 2022 Olympics.

(4) Dark money being exchanged between the main stakeholders. Japan has already paid the IOC to obtain the Olympics, I wonder if Bach's "preferential" treatment extends to being considered an "ambassador" when leaving his country and entering Japan, in which case he wouldn't show his luggage at the airport which could contain all the cash an LDP PM and government may want.

The virus is a sanitary issue. ALL the problems are political and man-made. Japan would be just much better off without that geriatric kleptocracy (spelled: L-D-P).

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Government is frozen, incapable of deciding anything because Abe (I want to say ‘sold us out’ ) but actually he just gave control of the country to the IOC freely.

Suga is far too weak to even attempt to take control. He is just waiting for Bach to arrive next week and tell him what to do.

With Koike obviously in quarantine Tokyo is just a headless chicken running in circles.

The games should have, and still should be postponed until next year.

LDP heads must roll for the failure to take the IOC up on that offer last year.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was still uncertain " Naturally....we can,t expect anything resembling say...gulp.. "leadership" from Suga now can we?

If the citizens don’t vote the LDP out next election, Japan has no future." Unfortunately, most longtimers know that LDP will be re-elected thanks to the farmers and the change averse seniors nationwide. There is no hope.

"3 hours before Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators *fixed****" Lol, good one.

They’re stalling. It’s as clear as day. Japan always does this in difficult situations, they stall and buy more time until somebody overseas makes the decision for them, then it’s not their fault." Exactly.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What was hoped to be a showcase for Japan has turned into a freakshow.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"holding Olympics or not" had been crafty replaced to "accept spectators or not" by Japan's Suga government or Japan's mainstream media.

Japan's public broadcast NHK which is most influential TV channel in Japan "revised" content of question of public opinion poll to pretend as if people who support holding Olympics increased.

Japanese public opinion have been urged to give up opposition to Olympics.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Here is something to think about.

So let's say they allow spectators.

No alcohol.

Does anyone think that people attending the events in mid summer Tokyo will not be eating and especially drinking, both requiring removing their masks to do so

If drinking is not permitted then I suppose they will need several hundred medical personnel and ambulances as people drop from dehydration and heatstroke.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Best not to have any fans with such uncertainty. Suga should just make an executive decision.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

3 Stooges clips will replace the opening ceremony.

Clown music will replace national anthems during medal ceremonies.

Groucho Marx's "Duck Soup" will replace the closing ceremony.

Grab the beer and popcorn, this Olympics will be a hysterical fail.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Hideomi Kuze

You are right. Shigeru Omi said that the committee's first intention was to recommend the cancellation or postponment but, since the government has made clear that these were not options, they focused on recommendations about the number of spectators.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Always the same style of remarks (actually the same wording):

".......for the spirit of the Tohoku people and the light of the world post Covid."

It's not all about the people in Tohoku, and the light is pretty dim so far!

As always, the Japanese government (wanna be) can't come up with firm decisions from the beginning, no surprise here. Think, consider, and meet multiple times, that's the way it (DOESN'T) works.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

* Bottakuri *Danshoku

Just noticed this. Whether that’s intentional, a genuine typo, or autocorrect, that’s awesome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The European Football competition in now being blamed for rises in COVID cases all over Europe where it was held. A dismal failure covid wise. Politicians highly critical of the organizing committees lack of COVID Safe policies. A warning for Japan and the Olympics you would think, butI doubt because the LDP would not even bother to read the international news and will just go ahead and do the same thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why start worrying about people now?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Suga. Awaiting his latest orders from Comcast. The head of a corrupt & craven governing party incapable of acting independent of the powers-that-be aka corporate masters & NGOs aka IOC. Certainly, it is all about money, which is increasingly transparent. The entire spectacle is athletics dressed-up with cheap theatrics and gilded with public monies.

Abe, shooting out of a tube dressed as Mario. That a PM would be so shameless was the first indicator of the absurdity to unfold. The Olympics were to be the legacy of Abe and Koike. She taken to her bed. He long disappeared to escape indictment for corruption. The throne ascended by a witless fool and factotum of Abe.

No matter. What will unfold will be epic. And unforgettable. A disaster by any measure. With continual sideshows by foreign athletes engaging in petty politics displaying shallow minds that reveal the simple fact that corporate gladiators, once outside their domain of expertise are naïve, egocentric and shallow.

The once aristocrats who connived to foist their weird concept of antiquity and bizarre imagining of so-called classic culture, culminated with the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany. Another showpiece for the superiority of a cult dedicated to a faction of classic European culture. Bach is not a Nazi, but he is German and it is amusing to listen to him and his henchman Coates spout their proclamations and decrees. The IOC is a collection of elites, among its number princes & princesses and various royal toadies. It is an antiquated farce rolling in on a sea of money and corruption, with essentially professional athletes whose coin comes from a particular or peculiar form of branding. It is sleight of hand. Pageantry. Draped in meaningless decorum.

That those in supposed command, consider it a grand idea to hold the Olympics during a plague; bespeaks to the over-riding madness of civilizations & cultures so divorced from reality, the actual firmament of life itself is beyond their ken. The constructs that permit such insanity arises out of a shared mass hallucination that completely ignores the reality of the situation, that it endangers the health and well-being of the peoples of Japan and all and any who participate from far or near. The privileged and elite, sitting in their sky boxes watching The Games, is a metaphor, all too real, of the contempt power has for the masses. While the rather meaningless extravaganza is beamed into the homes of the proles. This way lies unimaginable disaster.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

but also the 1998 Nagano Olympics vs the (desired) 2030 Nagano Olympics

This is from blue's incisive post and Olympic corruption, but isn't the push for 2030 from Hokkaido? Its part of the reason the marathon was switched to Sapporo.

I get downvoted everytime I mention the Sapporo bid, but there is no ski resort on Hokkaido with the 1000m vertical drop FIS wants for the downhill and Super G. Last time they had to cut trails and set up temporary lifts on another mountain, and it was still too short. There is no bobsleigh track, last time's went bust and Nagano's has too. Because the rules have changed, a cross country skiing facility will also have to be built with grandstands and a short loop that sends competitors past them many times. They are not allowed to use a long trail in the woods where spectators used to be allowed to stand.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A warning for Japan and the Olympics you would think, butI doubt because the LDP would not even bother to read the international news 

英語難しいよ!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Chaotic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan isn't uncertain. The citizenry has been quite vocal. A very large majority are opposed to spectators. Indeed, the population as a whole is opposed to holding the Olympics, which by its very pronouncement, opposes spectators.

Suga is one individual and it is apparent he does not represent the will-of-the-people. He represents outside interests and a very certain element of business and finance. Especially, in this particular instance, he does NOT represent Japan.

Suga and his cronies & bettors are in a quandary - perhaps fidgeting about when to make the final announcement, contrary to any sensible allowance based on science, to allow spectators. Of course, that decision will be dictated to him by the IOC & Comcast/NBCU.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is getting beyond ridiculous. This is a Japanese business culture problem. Seems they cannot adapt to an ongoing fluid situation, so they just dream that everything will work itself out. This is very scary when it comes to the health and safety of the people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Collect all the data from the experts, evaluate the current situation, make a forecast for the next few months, develop logical reasoning to backup your decision, make the decision.

I've seen high school kids do this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The average attendance for the football J-League matches of FC Tokyo, Yokohama F Marinos and Kawasaki Frontale during the whole 2021 so far has been of over 6,000 fans per match each.

I do not know about baseball, because you would have to tie me to a chair and keep my eyes open with needles to oblige me to watch a baseball game, but I am guessing it’s a similar average.

So how exactly is the risk involved in the Olympics so much bigger than rivers of articles are cascading every day in the newspapers? I would have thought it could be the special scare of foreigners and travelers but oh wait, football teams in the J-League have foreign players AND Japanese players going back and forth for international matches under even less stringent measures than the Olympics athletes…Maybe we trust them more because living here they have been familiar with Japanese superior culture?

I am not saying Japan should allow fans to the Olympics. I am saying it has allowed them until now for any other sports and one way or the other the logic should be the same.

Oups, I said logic.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

People should not be running around in stifling heat during a pandemic-it is fairly obvious…

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Suga’s flaking. He wants the olympics money business. Why should the olympics committee get to decide what’s in the best interest of the health interests of the people in any country. Are they Gods

4 ( +4 / -0 )

you could at least let the people footing the bill for this ridiculous event watch it

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This Olympic is not giving life, people please don't listen to this greedy fools who think they can fool the world with this covid fear, this is just to prove to everyone that there's absolutely no covid, they don't care about us, everything they are doing is for there own personal interest. There's nothing like covid.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It exposed in Uganda, some experts claiming covid killed some one there but when people insist and open the coffin they found out it was an empty coffin, so it was a business all this while hahaha you all are going die.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Unsure? Let’s make this easy. No spectators, refund their money, and have the selfish IOC foot the bill. There! That took one minute. Now you can give me and the others on this blog your salary for services rendered.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No Olympics, no problems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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