tokyo 2020 olympics

Counting the coronavirus cost at Tokyo Olympics

67 Comments
By Sara HUSSEIN

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2021 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

67 Comments
Login to comment

Some experts argue there was an "indirect relationship" and that holding the Games undermined the government's messaging on virus risks.

The messaging was loud and clear. The financial interests of Bach, the JOC and IOC and sponsors and the stubborn pride of the LDP gerontocrats far outweigh the health and welfare of the populace of Japan.

31 ( +38 / -7 )

Some experts argue there was an "indirect relationship" and that holding the Games undermined the government's messaging on virus risks.

I agree with those experts. Hordes of people are ignoring the government's requests and encouragement to stay home and not drink in social groups.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Did the 'bubble' hold?

From Suga, Koike, IOC and Bach point of view - Bubble held perfectly, these were best games ever

From protestors and residents in general who were told that "Zero Risk Olympics" by Bach and Suga repeating "Safe & Secure Olympics" answer would be a big NO!!!

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Did the 'bubble' hold?

From Yahoo Sports:

The so-called “Olympic Bubble” held for the most part. They tested and tested and traced and cleaned and tested some more.

There were some sporadic positive cases, some athletes who unfortunately got caught up in it , but the disruption to the overall event was minimal. There was no mass outbreak. The integrity of the competition was not compromised.

All over this sprawling, massive city they staged game after game, event after event. They were held in 42 different venues of all different shapes and sizes — a theatre inside a convention center for weight lifting, a massive empty stadium for soccer, a vast field with temporary bleachers for archery.

On the water, in the water, near the water, from the city center to the far suburbs, it didn’t matter. It all worked. The protocols. The security. The logistics.

— “Grading the Pandemic Olympics: How Tokyo shined,” Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports, 5 August 2021

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/grading-the-pandemic-olympics-how-tokyo-shined-003139112.html

6 ( +13 / -7 )

A bubble with no beer is always going to burst.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Counting the cost of Olympics held during Pandemic - see this latest news at Yahoo Japan (link below)

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/332d43be192a88f3a3d9d8f32438eb36454ef915?tokyo2020

Its raining Olympic Order Merit medals from IOC and Bach - Suga, Koike and Hashimoto to receive gold medals while Muto will get Silver medal. Now that the Olympics are ending today return favor from IOC? Prid Pro Quo much here? You scratch my back and I will return the favor..

Who cares if the Japanese residents suffer and asked to recover at home without access to hospital beds right?

14 ( +19 / -5 )

I wipe my brow, phew. But politically disaster, perhaps not, as it is Japan. Might not have been an absolute disaster but it does leave a bitter taste in the mouth none the less. Haven’t watched it as I’m more concerned about my family members being told to go home and Shogani, you have a respiratory virus, but you are not dead yet….here watch a stranger run very fast in a circle. Mmmm that helps.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Let’s look at this from an alternative perspective.

Imagine your neighbors say that they’re going to have a party at your house, whether you want them to or not, and they will hold the party by force if needed.

The other members of your family don’t want the party held. “People will drink too much and be sick. They’ll damage things”. But you’re the head of the house and you decide it will be held anyway. Your neighbors promise that nobody will behave badly or get drunk or damage things. Reluctantly the other members of your family agree to hold the party.

At the party, most of the guests behave well. However, a handful drink far too much and throw up over your sofa. Another person trips and breaks a vase. Two others get into a fight.

I don’t think many people would call this even close to a good party.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

The costs would have been much higher had spectators been allowed. Based on medals, it was an International success.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

And of course, we are only halfway through, so it is a bit early to rest on your laurels. Let's not forget the Paralympics that will be starting in a couple of weeks.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

While the ioc is thankful that no one was hit by a bus with the olympic rings on the grill there is no denying that the games have had a HUGE affect on Japan & its people since Feb 2020.

Back then the govt going full steam ahead until Canada sensibly said they were staying home & others quickly followed.......a good move!

Ever since then Japan & the ioc have done everything possible to push the games at Japans expense & the J-govt was 100+% complicit with the ioc to the detriment of Japan's people & economy!

We were & still have utterly insufficient testing, sadly we have no idea how bad things really were, ARE & WILL BE!!

Yes we cannot say the olympics made this many people ill, or calculate how many more died than if the games cancelled or postponed last fall or beginning of this year....

But make no mistake, there are people who have died & WILL die because these games went ahead......but the ioc simply doesnt care, they just want to get paid & stupid govt wants to save ""face"" while its people get sick & too many die!

The cost of these games is HUGE financially, emotionally & will weigh on Japan for a long time to come!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Hey, Tristis Quepe. I respect your guts in putting an analogy up here. Usually anything that requires anything other than a linear thought process gets deleted pretty fast!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Someone needs to be recruited for this kind of ‘positive spin’ on daily ‘reported’ numbers:

- @Kentarogaijin 4:57pM: “Just 430??, so few..”

Your frequent ‘clowning’ aside, these REPORTED numbers are surprisingly LOW.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Corona virus has been around for more than a year and yet people don’t know how the infection works! It’s not instant! It takes up to 14 days or more at times! Many athletes after returning home might get a positive result but we may never know! Olympics volunteers who were traveling in and out of the so called bubble used public transportation! The positive infections in Tokyo skyrocketed for the last couple of days. By next week or the following it will cross 10,000 infections daily if the Government doesn’t limit testing as they always do. To say that the Olympics didn’t have any corona virus impact on the population of Japan is pure stupidity. Glad that this farce is over though! Japan rewarded with many medals and this will change the mindset of some Japanese who initially opposed the Olympics. All is well as long as the medals shine!

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Just another example of the control regime : Big Corp /Gov - We will do as we want and you the public will do as we want.

Now stop complaining and go back to work

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Tristis QuepeToday  05:53 pm JST

Let’s look at this from an alternative perspective.

At the party, most of the guests behave well. However, a handful drink far too much and throw up over your sofa. Another person trips and breaks a vase. Two others get into a fight.

I don’t think many people would call this even close to a good party.

Failed analogy. I would say that a party with 52,000 guests (from 200+ countries) and 70,000 local volunteers might be considered relatively successful if had only the incidents you provide.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Nice Olympic host city premise @Tristis Quepe 5:53pm.- Perhaps Simon Pegg & Rose Byrne as mum & dad, Will Ferrell & Melissa McCarthy as “The Neighbors” ??

- “Let’s look at this from an alternative perspective.Imagine your neighbors say that they’re going to have a party at your house, whether you want them to or not, and they will hold the party by force if needed. The other members of your family don’t want the party held. “People will drink too much and be sick. They’ll damage things”. But you’re the head of the house and you decide it will be held anyway. Your neighbors promise that nobody will behave badly or get drunk or damage things. Reluctantly the other members of your family agree to hold the party. At the party, most of the guests behave well. However, a handful drink far too much and throw up over your sofa. Another person trips and breaks a vase. Two others get into a fight.

Agreed ..

- “I don’t think many people would call this even close to a good party.” -

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It ain't over yet. Those with compromised human conditions have been arriving. Will Bach and his boys GoToFukushima to wish them well?

I do not think so.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

*Failed analogy. I would say that a party with 52,000 guests (from 200+ countries) and 70,000 local volunteers might be considered relatively successful if had only the incidents you provide.*

You do understand what an analogy is, don't you? Guess I have to make it simpler.

Parties are rarely held with 52000 people plus assorted flunkies. That's not a party. It's a mega-event.

The mega-event in question was held in defiance of the wishes of many of the people, like the party.

The people forcing the event (party) to happen were adamant that the event (party) would be completely safe and secure. That implies totality.

It transpired that their promises were inaccurate. It doesn't matter by how much. They made a promise, knowing that the chance of their promise being kept were slim at best. That is deceit.

It's not the number of incidents. It's the fact that they happened at all, one of the interested parties having sworn blind that there would be no incidents whatsoever.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Did the bubble hold?

Well I guess if you ignore the 40 or so Olympics related people I saw walking around Akihabara yesterday as I drove through on the way home from the hospital, or the 30 or so I saw while sitting on my car waiting for my wife how was in the hospital in Ikebukuro yesterday for her post surgery check.

Or the 30 or so I saw walking around in Saitama ony way to drop of groceries to my mother in law.

Then I guess the bubble held.

Oh and how do I know the were with the Olympics?

The very large Olympics passes around their necks with big photo ID was a bit of a giveaway.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Kentarogaijin: "Just 430??, so few.."

Not considering Suga said originally it would be ZERO. And also, since thousands of others has been affected and infected, and it'll be more than 10,000 in Tokyo alone, DAILY, before the end of the month. Watching the marathon today and seeing HUNDREDS of people gathered tightly along the streets for the last 20 km Hokkaido will see a massive spike within the week. ALL of the infections directly tied to the Olympics.

And then there's the cost, not just double the bid, but the medical costs and hospital collapse is going to see our taxes go up by next fiscal year, too.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Not considering Suga said originally it would be ZERO. And also, since thousands of others has been affected and infected, and it'll be more than 10,000 in Tokyo alone, DAILY, before the end of the month. Watching the marathon today and seeing HUNDREDS of people gathered tightly along the streets for the last 20 km Hokkaido will see a massive spike within the week. ALL of the infections directly tied to the Olympics.

And then there's the cost, not just double the bid, but the medical costs and hospital collapse is going to see our taxes go up by next fiscal year, too.

And yet there are still people who won't care about any of that unless it affects them and them alone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Tristis QuepeToday  06:25 pm JST

The people forcing the event (party) to happen were adamant that the event (party) would be completely safe and secure. That implies totality.

It transpired that their promises were inaccurate. It doesn't matter by how much. They made a promise, knowing that the chance of their promise being kept were slim at best. That is deceit.

Man, you are living in an alternative universe if you expect huge events like this to be held without one sole incident.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Man, you are living in an alternative universe if you expect huge events like this to be held without one sole incident.

I don't. But I'm not the one who stretched the truth to breaking point to convince people to accept the event being held.

If you're fine with people lying to you as long as the effects of their lies aren't too egregious, then that's your right.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

The fact is COVID-19 cases spiked as the Olympics underway. Likely, this was not a direct cause, like Olympians biting passersby in the Ginza. But it is was for almost certain that the spike was an indirect cause. It wasn't simple neglect brought on by the needs of the Olympics. It was neglect of Olympian proportions in the Greek sense of the word. The hospitals were overwhelmed and hundreds or thousands. of sick people were sent home or got lost in the shuffle. And then there were the crazy crowd that wanted to get near the Olympians. There would not have been quite the chaos with the Olympics were they cancelled.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

So, You’re claiming the IOCLDPJOC all lied and the Japanese people that were convinced have no real common sense

@Asiaman7 6:48pm: “Man, you are living in an alternative universe if you expect huge events like this to be held without one sole incident.” -

…of reality. - That doesn’t sound very respectful to the host city !!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The people, namely the top poster, who are crowing about how successful these Olympics were because there weren’t any major disasters are missing large several points. The cost of these Games far exceeds whatever “hope” they may have brought to the world and I am not just talking about the $14.5 billion estimated by Yahoo sports. A significant part of Japanese society feels abandoned. Tohoku was flat out lied to. The average citizen was told to stay home and sacrifice while the elite swine partied. Good luck getting the public to ever sacrifice again for the common good. I predict you will see some serious cases a civil disobedience…and good for them…followed by some serious pushback if the government tried to reign people in.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

KentarogaijinToday  04:57 pm JST

Sorry to say that the Olympics never should have been held. You say all went well. Tell that face to face to those who got positive and watched their Olympic dream get shattered all so that privileged people of power can have their fun.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Most positive cases were among residents of Japan, largely staff or contractors, with 29 athletes and 25 members of the media also testing positive.

So basically 54 cases non-domestic out of 52,000.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

The the Olympics contribute to the present rise in cases in Tokyo?

Yes, not directly but indirectly.

The government did its best to lower testing to get it cases down so the Olympics could proceed, giving a false sense of safety,

Lifting the SOE resulting in a new spike resulting in a new SOE.

Having nearly a hundred thousand people come gave the impression all was fine and people ignored the warnings.

Imposing surcharge for no reason on Expressways forcing even more into the train system at the worst time.

Diverting a large part of testing capacity to test 15,000 visitors while reducing local testing.

Diverting resources that could have been used to speed up vaccination.

The list goes on and on.

So yes in a very significant way the Olympics are in great part responsible.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

No, @tooheysnewn7:07pm it would be disingenuous to have not cheered for the athletes. It’s just the ‘forced circumstances’ by the greedy IOCLDPJOC too impatient to wait denied all involved prior many of the opportunities they were all promised. And, still ALL of Japan is left paying the bill when only the elite were invited to profit and participate in the party.

@7:07pm: “Articles like this …

… are the ‘seedlings’ of revisionist history. Isn’t the sincerity of Japan’s acknowledgement of actual past events already under global scrutiny by potential business allies and enemies?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

JtsnoseToday  05:57 pm JST

The costs would have been much higher had spectators been allowed. Based on medals, it was an International success.

Sumo and domestic baseball had medals. Also, my train is packed every day (7 million use the Tokyo trains daily). Should we think of them as super spreader events, or is this just an Olympic thing?

If the Tokyo Olympics had been completely sold out it would have been about 5% of those using the trains over the same 2 week period.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

As we’ve said in many threads over the past weeks:

”Well Done, Athletes & Unpaid Volunteers !!”

You ALL did your Best, given the circumstances. Best wishes for Your future endeavors.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Sumo and domestic baseball had medals.

Medals? I mean crowds! Don't type and watch Olympic highlights at the same time!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

what about the energy of all the anti Olympics crowd who spent the last year & 1/2 whining & complaining,

What did it achieve - nothing !

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

The Olympics should not have been conducted in the midst of a pandemic. Fairly simple.

Liars, thieves and knaves aka the powers that be decreed the games would go on, "no matter the cost".

The games exposed the corruption and greed that taint the Olympics which are merely spectacle and farce.

There is absolutely no need or justification for the Olympic Games, except a means to endow the coffers of the IOC with loot. All costs are passed on to the host city - which in Japan means the taxpayers - it will total well over 25 billion USD.

Each & every sport has a world championship. Tennis has four Grand Slams a year and numerous other major tournaments. Soccer has The World Cup every four years, FIFA is considering holding the event every two years. In soccer, there is the European Championship, the Asian Championship, Algarve Cup, SheBelieves Cup, USA National Championship. Just to mention a few.

The complete disregard exhibited by Bach, Suga and others borders on criminal.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

tooheysnewToday  07:34 pm JST

what about the energy of all the anti Olympics crowd who spent the last year & 1/2 whining & complaining,

What did it achieve - nothing !

For some of them it was the event of the last year. They won't know what to do with themselves from tomorrow.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Regardless of any statistics, the Olympics diverted resources away from the people of Japan, took attention away from what should have been the country's focus (the vaccination programme) and cost Japan an inordinate amount of money which could have been better spent elsewhere. I do not believe they should have been held.

They have clearly demonstrated that the games are not just about the sport and irreparably damaged the reputation of the IOC.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

So how does one define, access the positives from he negatives?

In a manner that doesn't differentiate from the fact that J athletes, swimmers, skateboarders everything one can wave a stick at excelled beyond expectations.

So again, to boo from the gallery at devotion and excellence, at the same time accept the fact that these games are an anathema to any form of containment to a pandemic that could, I pray not, be soon out of control.

The IOC must be head accountable, no hiding place.

J Government must put the people first.

And call out the IOC

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Antiquesaving

To your list of people you've seen out and about (and I can concur that Akihabara seems to be a popular venue for startlingly healthy-looking young men in the same outfit over the last couple of weeks), I would like to add the three members of different athletic teams who were able to visit a friend of mine on different days last week and enjoy his hospitality.

My friend assures me that, in accordance with protocol, the condoms the squad was issued with were not used, presumably so that they can be taken back to the athletes' home countries to spread the message of how to behave responsibly.

There is no bubble. There never was a bubble.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan should be proud of the effort on putting the games on with all these restrictions.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Has anyone else noticed that this summer, unlike every other of the 25 summers I have been here, there has been no press coverage of the number of deaths caused by heatstroke?

Perhaps the Olympics have some kind of magic influence to keep perennial tragedies from happening?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Derek GrebeToday  08:43 pm JST

Has anyone else noticed that this summer, unlike every other of the 25 summers I have been here, there has been no press coverage of the number of deaths caused by heatstroke?

Perhaps the Olympics have some kind of magic influence to keep perennial tragedies from happening?

The chome association where I live announced 2 died of heatstroke just this past week making it 3 in 2 weeks, that is just our chome.

But I guess the Olympic news gets priority.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

CANCEL the Olympics!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

We wanted to tell the Japanese people that they did a Brilliant job with the Olympics, All the workers, Marshalls, everyone, in the Arena and All the outside sports, they worked very hard and long hours, they should be very Proud of what they did. We greatly enjoyed watching and are thrilled for the Japanese Athletes who competed so well and were Successful with many Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals, Well Done. Be proud of what was achieved by Japan in these difficult times. We look forward very much to coming back to Japan to travel and visit again. Congratulations Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Michael O’ DereiterToday  06:04 pm JST

"Hey, Tristis Quepe. I respect your guts in putting an analogy up here. Usually anything that requires anything other than a linear thought process gets deleted pretty fast!"

hear hear! spot on! anything that smacks of subtlety or creativity is usually 'off topic'

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Come on guys, had Japan cancelled this event the aftermath would have been insane and a lot more people would have lost their jobs, get into financial problem or even died.

Suga, Bach etc deserve a ton of criticism but it's not as black and white as some of u want it to be.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I was a little disappointed with the closing ceremony.

Was the song Sukiyaki recognized by these young athletes? Was there a theme to all the performances? Seemed a little odd for my tastes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

t was also great to see the Japanese peoples opinion shift from being against the games to being most definitely in favour of them. 

That just means that the Japanese people are just as susceptible to bread and circuses (and propaganda) as anyone else.

Add to that the level of political indifference in this country and you wonder why they just keep voting the LDP in, time after time after time after time. Bet they'll do it again at the end of the year, even in the knowledge that their taxes are almost guaranteed to go up and that they could have gotten a Covid shot a whole lot sooner.

Your conclusion is actually a damning condemnation of human stupidity.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Susukino, 100% had the games been cancelled how many smiles mid pandemic were there have been?

With the Olympics what did we all gain? Some grit , some cheer, some pride and a ton of hope. Just watching the handoff now and they’ve pulled it! Amazing games, and hats off to everyone that knuckled down and got involved. Bravo Tokyo!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Man, you are living in an alternative universe if you expect huge events like this to be held without one sole incident.

No one expected it to be held without incident. Which is why so many were of the opinion that it should not be held at all in the midst of a global pandemic.

Suga, Bach and the like stated, assured, promised, vowed that it would be held safely, securely and without incident. Either they were lying through their teeth and are not fit to hold the positions they hold, or they actually believed the nonsense they were spouting and are in the early stages of dementia.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Give it a rest. We love Japan just not the corruption the LDP and the jijis pocketing the hard earned money of the Japanese tax payers and using the tragedy of Tohoku to line more of their cronies pockets while doing nothing for them.

This guy gets it.

It's actually the weeaboos who won't see a single thing wrong with Japan who are the most disrespectful to the country, by putting it on a pedestal and yet being patronising at the same time.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I don’t think many people would call this even close to a good party.

Especially as you, the home owner, aren't even allowed to attend the party but still have to pay for all of it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The people, namely the top poster, who are crowing about how successful these Olympics were because there weren’t any major disasters are missing large several points. The cost of these Games far exceeds whatever “hope” they may have brought to the world and I am not just talking about the $14.5 billion estimated by Yahoo sports. A significant part of Japanese society feels abandoned. Tohoku was flat out lied to. The average citizen was told to stay home and sacrifice while the elite swine partied. Good luck getting the public to ever sacrifice again for the common good. I predict you will see some serious cases a civil disobedience…and good for them…followed by some serious pushback if the government tried to reign people in.

Exactly, What is worse, the average Japanese citizen will now have to pay for said elite swine's party, for years to come.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Last day was a downer.

But thank you Japan for the great Olympics, even if the ceremonies were iffy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Now that the Games are over we'll soon get to see the final bill for Japan's Olympic extravaganza. Covid patients and tax-payers can expect to feel the pain for some time to come.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Man, I have never read such hate as in the comment section of Japan Today. Any positivity is downvoted to oblivion. Any comment crediting Japan with carrying out an extremely efficient Olympics despite the most horrendous of circumstances is downvoted. I made a comment that the US team DID in fact take a knee, and it was right there for all to see. Downvoted.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Anyone care to ponder the costs of not hosting the game? And estimate them to be less than the cost of hosting them? Personally I think considering that, I would say it was a success.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The hatred and vitriol is astonishing. Everything went well, everyone did their best and made it work out better than expected.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Gomen . . . .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In short, it was successful.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tristis QuepeAug. 8  06:25 pm JST

Failed analogy. I would say that a party with 52,000 guests (from 200+ countries) and 70,000 local volunteers might be considered relatively successful if had only the incidents you provide.

You do understand what an analogy is, don't you? Guess I have to make it simpler.

Parties are rarely held with 52000 people plus assorted flunkies. That's not a party. It's a mega-event.

Exactly. In your home party of say 30 participants, which would be a fairly sizable home party in Japan, at least 25% behave inappropriately. Did 25% of the Olympic athletes and volunteers behave inappropriately? (The correct answer here is “No”) How about 1%? (Again, “No”)

Failed analogy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What is frightening is the Paralympic participants and once again media etc.. are coming. The crowd continues and the spread too. IOC should carefully think about this as many of the Paralympic participants probably have compromising health conditions? They should be 100% vaccinated to avoid health problems. We’ve seen participants getting COVID.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites