tokyo 2020 olympics

Yes. Tokyo Olympics are still on, despite opposition, pandemic

85 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


85 Comments
Login to comment

Senior International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound was emphatic in an interview with a British newspaper.

"Barring Armageddon that we can't see or anticipate, these things are a go," Pound told the Evening Standard.

This is the sick, arrogant individual who recently stated the Games would still be held, even if Japan cancelled them.

Everything from his mouth reeks of entitlement, selfishness and total contempt for Japanese people.

Cancel the trainwreck.

48 ( +52 / -4 )

And they’ll go down as being the worst olympics in history and a testament to japans greed and indifference to its own people

47 ( +54 / -7 )

I do wish the IOC would just shut up for once…

46 ( +51 / -5 )

yes because who cares what the Japanese people think? Its not like this country is a democracy.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

@ nippon glory

Many is more than one. What other sports will they dominate.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

...a decision by the Japanese government to stay the course, which might help Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga keep his job.

In what world does he keep his job for a decision that over 80% of the population opposes???

27 ( +28 / -1 )

The medals awarded in these Olympics will forever carry on them the stench of power, corruption, and death.

25 ( +28 / -3 )

"I agree that I participate in the Games at my own risk and own responsibility, including any impact on my participation to and/or performance in the Games, serious bodily injury or even death raised by the potential exposure to health hazards such the transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious disease or extreme heat conditions while attending the Games..."

Nothing screams "Safe and Secure" like "I hereby accept responsibility if I die, which apparently I could very well do".

23 ( +25 / -2 )

"Barring Armageddon that we can't see or anticipate, these things are a go," Pound told the Evening Standard.

as opposed to the Armageddon you're going to be bringing about with your stupid games?

21 ( +23 / -2 )

It’s too late but Japanese government needs to grow a spine. They could have told the IOC to go to hell. The so-called contract would not hold in any court and, even if it did, there is no way to enforce it. As for the ridiculous claim that China would take center stage.....yeah, sure.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Best thing we can do is to totally ignore their hyper glorified sport day and avoid to watch any of it’s event on TV.

And most important to don’t buy anything sponsored or related with this idiocy.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Despite what I myself and many others want, I'm afraid those darned Olympics will go ahead.

The people at those "agencies" be it IOC or the Japanese government will be responsible for the consequences in the end. But they will "do it their way" without any other considerations.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

So the Olympics are barreling ahead. But why?

Start with billions of dollars at stake, a contract that overwhelmingly favors the IOC, and a decision by the Japanese government to stay the course, which might help Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga keep his job.

Remember folks...This isn't about YOU, this is all about the ¥, and the PM with his selfish agenda.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Start with billions of dollars at stake,

The ONLY reason! The entire country could be in a state of emergency and the "games" would go on!

This will be first time that I do NOT watch or care about the Olympics!

18 ( +20 / -2 )

If Suga is re-elected in the next election then the Japanese truly get what they deserve.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Japan gave shots to 200 of its Olympic athletes on Tuesday, an event held behind closed doors without much fanfare.

No doubt the people who have been waiting months would be rather ticked off to know that it happened!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

The Tokyo Olympics feels like someone who wants to make lemonade but they forgot to buy sugar at the store. They're too stubborn to wait and go back to the store, so they just squeeze the lemons into some lukewarm water and tell everyone to enjoy it. And by the way the house is on fire, but for some reason making the terrible lemon water is more important than putting it out.

If life gives you lemons, be patient and make lemonade when you can.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Buckle up folks, we're gonna have the Doomplympics, then the fifth-sixth-whatever wave, then 35 more states of emergency.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Great! i have never been to an Olympic event during a global pandemic in my life.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Well this will beat the 1936 Berlin Olympics so that’s something....I guess.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There seems to be a very negative feeling towards the Olympics by the media. 

I’m not a journalist and I’m pretty sure most of the other posters against the Olympics are also not journalists. The vast majority of all people in Japan want the Olympics cancelled. It’s beyond belief to spin it as a media bias.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Cancel the Olympics. Save money on all the freeloaders dropping in. Get the population vaccinated and rake in the tourism yen which is longer lasting and more important I would think.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Hahahaha!! What does he even mean??

*"Politicians may well be aware of the risk they are taking but hope that once the Games begin the Japanese public will persevere 'for the good of Japan' and forget how we got here," Tonami said.*

Oh right, so just suck it up and risk catching a potentially lethal illness like good little puppets so the IOC don't lose a few billion.

Disgusting and morbidly hilarious waffling as usual.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"The Japanese government really does not have the right to cancel the games."

So Japan is no longer a sovereign nation. The IOC now runs the world with NBC-Universal. Thanks for that info.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Is the pandemic over?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Finally a bit of clarity about what really is going on . This is a good story and the world should know what IOC really is and why putting Japanese people at risk is worth the trouble.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

unprecedented safety measures are in place for the games and if the games cannot be held in a safe manner they will be cancelled this has been agreed by the IOC and the government.

that's the exact opposite of what has been 'agreed' (=decided by the IOC)

"Barring Armageddon that we can't see or anticipate, these things are a go,"

The IOC says the Olympics must happen this year or not at all.

Not at all sounds good.

China is to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics just six months after Tokyo ends

If, as seems more than likely, Tokyo turns into a mega-spreader event, the China Winter Games will either be cancelled by China, or the skiers and skaters will see sense and decide not to go.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Dear Elon Musk: I have an idea. Can't you just donate 25 B or so and pay off the corrupt IOC /JOC and whomever else needs to be paid off with the condition they cancel these games?

You'd make that money back in no time as people would switch from Toyota (a major Olympic sponsor) to Tesla. Could be the perfect PR stunt!

You'd also be a hero to the world.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Sick beyond words. Greed over safety, simple as that

8 ( +9 / -1 )

China 2022 should be cancelled anyway due to blind eye to human rights, again for sweet sweet IOC cashola.

China had 2008 and whatever hope to stop being a dictatorship never materialized. This is now world state sponsorship of China which is incomprehensible.

The real Olympic movement

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It’s not too late to do the right thing - delay the Olympics one more time.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

About 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, plus added staff, will live in a bubble at the Olympic Village, training sites, and venues.

Except this is partly false information. None of the local staff and volunteers (which is thousands of people), are required to live in this bubble. All of them are required to commute to the venues, from their homes, daily, and most of them will use public transport. As of now, it also looks like almost none of them will be vaccinated or tested regularly.

Once again I ask, where are the safety measures for the local staff? One paper mask and a mini bottle of hand sanitizer will not cut it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A not-for-profit based in Switzerland, the IOC 

lol, they have a cynical sense of humor too

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Cancel and refuse to pay them; the UN says the pandemic is equivalent to a war; so all bets are off.

Do a crowd funding for court costs if necessary..... I expect there would be more public support for that than going ahead with the Sacrificial Games!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Pound disgusts me. The "armageddon" he speaks of will come after the IOC packs up and goes home, leaving Japan to deal with its biggest wave yet and the total collapse of its medical system.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The government is stuck - help it. If enough volunteers dropped out, then it would be impossible to hold the games.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yay! Where's our vaccinations though?...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I get it, thank you JT.

We all know the bottom line is $$, and not public safety or any thing else.

If conditions get worse during or after the games it is up to Mr. Suga and his partners to clean up the mess, and we all know that will go. But if thing are not as bad, then it is over and Japan can now focus on vaccinating it's population.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

well let's see, it can't because of dignity, human life, or responsibility. So it's money then. The billions scraped from taxpayers that should have gone into fighting for them not against them

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I guess Bach, Coates and Pound didn't get the memo the days of old privileged white men dictating what Asians and others are going to do ended when colonization ended.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Antiquesaving,

Allow me a minor correction. The one long time ago was Austrian, not German. Elsewise I agree!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Perfectly feasible situation from here on in:

1) The games go ahead and result in a huge jump in cases.

2) Suga’s approval rating hits single digits. Suga resigns and is really very sorry.

3) Outrage aimed squarely at Jiminto

4) Jiminto win big again come late 2021

5) Nothing changes whatsoever.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Captain

"I think it's time for a few IOC board members to be followed home and left beaten within an inch of their lives right in their driveways."

If I were you I'd put some good walking shoes on. I imagine those golden paved driveways from the not for profit organisation are very long.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I love how the seats are all different colors, so it looks a bit like people in the stands, instead of an empty house. I would love to see the stands filled with the infamous Japanese love dolls. Fans, can buy their doll male or female, buy virtual ticket, watch the games through in seat camera, dress their dolls in their favorite countries swag, and then afterword have the doll shipped to their house in their country. It is weird, but it is a niche Japan subculture that has been covered by intl media. A real business opportunity if you ask me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@mz16

You have, unfortunately, nailed it. The fifth-segueing-into-sixth wave will start with an uptick at the end of June and reach its stride right around Tanabata.

I don’t hope or wish for it, but it’s hard to not see to the plethora of factors that will lead to it.

Do what you feel necessary to stay safe and well, all the good denizens of this comment board, and continue to enjoy your lives to the fullest.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It’s finally a little bit understandable as the 18,000,000,000 due at cancellation are better as an option in the planned investments for defense. Better in the budget than in the hands of this damned IOC mafia for nothing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Meanwhile there will be no more Winter Olympics, the planet is warming too much. The Beijing games will be as artificial as the smiles and the snow. Also Tokyo summers are too hot. In spite of all of this July isn't a great choice and never was.

If they want to play it will have to be in an autumn somewhere and merge the events. October just like in '64.

No democractic nation would accept unless venues were already present. LA and Paris were suggested as permanent hosts.

Might as well split it up, move it indoors, and scale it down to a regional final.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the Japanese people don't like that they are being forced to hold the Olympics then here's an idea. NBC owns Universal Studios and since U.S. broadcaster NBC Universal is the IOC's largest single source of income. The Japanese should petition NBC Universal and threatened to boycott Universal Studios theme park should the Olympics go on once the Olympics is completed. If you cut the single largest source of revenue out I am sure they Olympic committee would see no since in holding the games. Universal Studios Japan generate millions of dollars a year and I am sure NBC Universal don't want to take that loss because of the Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes. It is so much easier to disparage Japan than to do the same to IOC and those behind it. And yet, you guys are much better than him ruining the fruits to vent your stress.

Not sure what comments section you are reading but the vast majority of comments here have been against the IOC.

Seems someone is trying to deflect!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

IOC and GOJ - You'll be sooooorryyyyyy!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kurisupisu:

I did.

I left

I’m in the UK as the government in Japan was literally making me ....sick!

And you said you'd be back soon, now that you've got your free NHS vaccination. I'm sure many other Brit expats can't find time off work to spend a few months back in UK. But then again, those normally residing abroad aren't entitled to NHS services for free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dick Pound, another octogenarian. Pound, in January of this year entertained the notion that there would be no Olympics, if the pandemic continued.

As of late, pound has falsely claimed that the opposition to the games is political posturing - he sites no evidence nor names names. It is simple obfuscation and an attempt to undermine very real opposition to the games by the citizens of Japan, numerous medical and scientific bodies and completely ignores scientific and medical fact & evidence.

Pound once claimed one-third of all NHL players were doping. A fact that he completely invented with no evidence or fact. He later admitted it was unsubstantiated.

Pound is involved in the Olympic Broadcasting Services, the mainstay of revenue for the Olympics.

Neglected are the various obvious facts: With more contagious and perhaps deadlier variants circulating around the globe, epidemiologists warn that the Tokyo Olympics have the potential to turbocharge the virus’s spread.

Controlling the pathogen will be “almost close to mission impossible,” said Dr. Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease specialist at Kobe University Hospital. “Canceling the Olympic Games would be much easier.”

That broadcasting the Olympic Games is a mainstay of IOC revenue and its loss would have adverse financial impacts, is perhaps the biggest factor in calling for the games to proceed, no matter the cost.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Pukey2

For some reason I received a card informing me that I was eligible to have a vaccination.

I was quite surprised because I haven’t been to a doctor in the UK for over a decade.

However, because of the freedom that I gain from it I decided to take the NHS up on their generous offer.

Whilst in the UK I have used private medical services to the tune of over a thousand pounds and am having a private antibody check for the virus this Friday.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Armageddon remark made me lose interest in the Olympics for life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's all about the cash for a few IOC officials.

Who gets the virus, who dies, not their problem.

QUOTE: These are the problems of THE HOST COUNTRY.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great Photo

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Olympics are off, but on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No it isn't, hold that for moment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Privatised profits, socialised risks/losses...let me think, where have I seen that before? Oh, that’s right: the Global Financial Crisis. Nevermind, though, at least I get to see people playing their sportzballz. So stunning. So brave.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On another note the Olympics needs volunteers the people in Japan should not volunteer to send other Japanese to their graves for these COVID GAMES, and do not purchase any olympic related souvenirs and turn off the TV to get low ratings in Japan and do not support anything the IOC promotes. The IOC and the WHO are intellectually stupid!! They go hand in hand.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'll admit that I'm biased, as I have long regarded the Olympics as a pseudo-religion. But I wince at the obvious Japan bashing on the part of some commentators. My wife and I consistently vote for Suga's party but are disappointed by the current combination of obstinacy and wishy-washiness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have been already playing soccer, baseballs, tennis, sumo, swimming, basketballs, volleyballs, table tennis, marathons, etc. What's the big deal?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abominable

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But I wince at the obvious Japan bashing on the part of some commentators

You confuse Jgov bashing with Japan bashing.

When you go to the comments section on CBC, or a USA site and read the "bashing" if the government's original poor response to the covid pandemic do you called those Canada or USA bashing? No it is criticism of the government and that is a legitimate thing to do when the government is doing a very poor job.

No one ( or at least very very few) are saying anything about the people of Japan, the criticism is towards the government and by nature in a free society that is totally acceptable.

Are you going on Japanese sites where far worse is being said about the government's handling and calling those Japanese comments "Japan bashing"?

The stuff my daughter and wife are reading and commenting in Japanese makes much of what is said here tame by comparison.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

indeed, they should rightfully go ahead with the Olympics. We need to get back to our normal lives and holding the Olympics is the first step towards that goal.

all the whiners and moaners who are against the Olympics will eventually turn around and admit it was the right decision after all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Arrogance knows no bounds, and ignorance sits in high places, perhaps these people who are demanding the games go on coates bach pound etc are held accountable for the people who will be affected through contracting the disease during or after the games.

Maybe some sort of class action law suit and strip them of all their ill gotten wealth and remove them form the entitled positions they hold.

These people do not deserve to be in the positions they hold nor do they deserve to earn the money they get.

They need to be made very uncomfortable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Very difficult situation for Japan for what should have been an amazing occasion for the country and visitors who would have had the opportunity to visit a beautiful country.

For all you MBA consultants out there .... solve this one !!

Business case:

IOC hold the contract rights over Japan and want their money, whatever the consequences (please note OG is a mega business now and participants are the side show!)

PM wants to get re- elected

Only 3% (?) of the population vaccinated (Abe no maske wa .. doko deska?? Sorry for my poor Japanese!)

I heard as much of 80% of the population don't want the games under the current conditions (but they're voice is not being considered)

Challenge:

How to still hold the games and keep Japanese people safe from potential infection?

How to make a business case to give the IOC their blood money and save the face of a PM wishing to be re-elected?

Ganbatte kudesai

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just hold your nose, and get these games over with. They have been nothing but an national obstacle over the last couple of years. Making an inept national government even more inept. Have to change the subject and get this pointless and costly diversion behind us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And there's saving face. Japan has officially spent $15.4 billion on the Olympics, but several government audits suggest it's much more. All but $6.7 billion is public money. Geopolitical rival China is to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics just six months after Tokyo ends, and could claim centerstage should Tokyo fail.

Japan - I know I've said this in many of my other responses: I seriously do not think anyone would look down on [Japan] if you had cancelled the event given the situation; no one would blame you and I believe you would gain more respect for doing so.

That being said, yes that is a lot of money loss but what about the rest of your everyday citizens who lost their jobs and small business owners who had shutdown because of the pandemic? Many of which has nothing to gain if the Olympics occurred! Any attempts by them to stay open was met with fines and penalties. How is it, [Japan], that you can justify allowing the Olympics to go on so that the $15.4B spent can be recouped when millions of others can't?

Yes, $15.4B is a lot of money - I am not denying that - but you are saying that the safety of your Country is worth $15.4B to risk.

In the end, I know it's all about the money. I'm not going to pretend to be that naive. But for once I was hoping that it wasn't the case and that Japan would just accept the loss and forge on. Nope! In the end it's about the money and "saving face".

the IOC is a multi-billion dollar sports business that derives almost 75% of its income from selling broadcast rights. Another 18% comes from 15 top sponsors.

And that is one of the many problems with the Olympics. I really wish it go back to not being a business. I don't see that happening in my lifetime... sigh

Andrew Zimbalist, an economist at Smith College in Massachusetts who has written extensively about the Olympics, estimates the IOC could lose about $3.5 billion-$4 billion in broadcast revenue if the Tokyo Games were canceled. He suggested a small portion of this, between $400 million and $800 million, might be made up by cancellation insurance.

U.S. broadcaster NBCUniversal is the IOC's largest single source of income.

Yes, money loss if it doesn't happen. But many lives could also be lost. I fail to see how a broadcast is worth more than a human life. Maybe I should have majored in finance or economics. I just don't get it.

Of course, the Japanese government could stop the Olympics. It would be a public-relations disaster for the IOC to get into a legal battle with Tokyo, so any such deal would be worked out in private.

Cowards! Japan, you would rather put your people and country at risk for fear of a PR disaster this may cause??! If the IOC went to court then that would only show the world how irresponsible the IOC is and how they don't care about the safety of others except themselves! I feel you would have a lot of supporters. So perhaps you risk not being able to host another Olympics but isn't your country and people worth more?

"Politicians may well be aware of the risk they are taking

I seriously doubt that...

but hope that once the Games begin the Japanese public will persevere 'for the good of Japan' and forget how we got here," Tonami said.

Can someone please explain to me how hosting a LARGE public event over multiple consecutive days is "good for Japan"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only and I mean only upside of this, surely there will be very few countries interested in hosting the Olympics in the future after this. Meaning, that the IOC's cash cow will be no longer and it is about time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In addition, the world as a whole who are willing to put their athletes at risk and the lives of the Japanese and others who live here are just as criminally liable. Australia, who has locked down their country and the first to send their athletes here would be on top of the list.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about this??

athlete come to Japan. And play games in NARITA airport. And ride the plane again. This is the best way to prevent spreading Covid... www

Is it Olympic? What are the Olympics? Why should we do? Why this year?

Just a waste of time and should be postponed in the light of safety...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and a decision by the Japanese government to stay the course, which might help Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga keep his job.

Seems counter intuitive if a big majority of the people is against the Olympics. Anyone who'd like to venture an idea as to how the Olympics pushing thru can help Suga keep his job?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I did.

I left

I’m in the UK as the government in Japan was literally making me ....sick!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I much prefer the winter Olympics.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Didn't someone say, last year and before things went up exponentially (to the point the government refuses to give numbers of how much it is costing), say that PER PERSON in Japan this will cost about ¥800,000? So, after people inevitably get sick and die from the Games, and it is forever known for that reason, and Japan's corona rate spikes again and we enter a fifth wave and have to shut things down again, and the government admits we are going to have to raise taxes, who's fault is it all going to be then?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

and despite common sense.its weird bizarre and insane all same time

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I used to be opposed, but since they have got the vaccine ball rolling now I am 100% in favor of having them. It could be the first step in recovery for the world.

I even have tickets (I hope they are still valid to the 2nd round of Women's football or soccer. I hope to be able to see the World Cup Champion US Women's team in action.

I am aiming for at least 30 minuses on this post, actually the more minuses and snarky comments the better.

Anything less than that, means that you Japan and pandemic "experts" are not doing your job.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@kyushubill: You summed it up perfectly without Hysteria. The Games were always going to happen... I've never thought anything differently. TV money. Just 'part' of what Tokyo would be liable for if they took it upon themselves to cancel themselves. I get the outrage, but find it a waste of breath.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yes. It is so much easier to disparage Japan than to do the same to IOC and those behind it. And yet, you guys are much better than him ruining the fruits to vent your stress.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

So Japan is no longer a sovereign nation. The IOC now runs the world with NBC-Universal. Thanks for that info.

Common sense tells you it's nothing to do with a nation's sovereignty , not to mention that host-city contract is closed with a city, not a nation.

Any cities in Japan would never ever be able to host Olympics, Any Japanese athletes would never ever compete in Olympics if IOC is just like what it is now.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

mmm

I can't understand why JT didn't remove such comments as "Japan greed" and "yes because who cares what the Japanese people think?" 

Anyway, Japanese except me don't care the comments here, maybe.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I can' wait for the Olympics.

Go Japan.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

There seems to be a very negative feeling towards the Olympics by the media. Are they really concerned or is this to get views for their companies. The athletes are always aware that the Olympics are a risk as any event is including traveling, accommodation etc.

unprecedented safety measures are in place for the games and if the games cannot be held in a safe manner they will be cancelled this has been agreed by the IOC and the government.

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

i looking forward to the olympic where Japan can dominate in many sports such as Judo! Enjoyment! Athelete-san, Ganbattekudasai!

-45 ( +8 / -53 )

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