tokyo 2020 olympics

Holding Tokyo Olympics amid pandemic shreds consensus in Japan

63 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.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.


63 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Stay home in your cramped apartments while the VIPs enjoy their dinner and drinks!

The laugh is on the taxpayers in Japan…

45 ( +51 / -6 )

"Japan is famous for running on consensus..." and other myths.....

45 ( +49 / -4 )

A inexcusably Late and halfhearted vaccination programme is the main problem here. if people were vaccinated, there would be no problem and the government could have had their cake and eat it

We are damned if we do, and damned if we do not,”

Sorry to say I Can't feel any sympathy for those concerned. You made your bed, you better lie in it. Should had have prioritised vaccines from the very start.

30 ( +35 / -5 )

We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now.

Yeah sure! It is not that you had enough time before that!

The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

That is one of the points that brings out the anger of the people.

That and to set another SOE with damaging peoples vaccations and drive many small restaurants into bancruptcy, while inviting thousands of people from overseas into the country.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

 “The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

“Seems to think” is an understatement.

27 ( +29 / -2 )

You overspend but hope your guests go away bragging about the hospitality.

To carry on with the analogy, the Yelp reviews of these Olympics are going to be brutal.

26 ( +30 / -4 )

At NO time prior to ‘Tokyo’s Games’ was ‘the Consensusever regarded. - Remember their pledge to Bach & Coates: “At Any Cost.”

25 ( +28 / -3 )

Vaccination of the Japanese population was the only way that the Olympics could have been held successfully. You blew it through sheer stupidity.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

Consensus is not shredded. The majority clearly want postponement or a cancellation. Even 70% of businesses want cancellation.

There is absolutely no financial benefit to Japan for holding the games and a huge risk.

If the Japanese government was the board of directors of a publicly traded corporation they would be fired and sued for malfeasance.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

I'm like a broken record, but I'll say it again:

Posters above and previously are correct: There was absolute majority consensus against holding the Olympics.

An embarrassingly inept Government has been caught with it's pants down, 'They made us do it' just doesn't cut it.

The Olympics have been exposed as a pure Money making scheme.

The willful delay of vaccinations, and failure to take the opportunity to delay another year due to Abe's pride, Suga's ineptitude, and Koike's ambition should not be forgotten.

Japan has it's 'leaders' to blame, and needs to hold them accountable.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Japanese consensus a big myth. Witness Fukushima, Kobe quake, the Bubble, etc - the Japanese factionalize in times of national crises, pulling apart instead of together.

A better theme for this article would have been how before this debacle, Japan was the most Olympics-crazy nation in the world, true believers in the faith, backed by a domestic media frenzy, printing extra newspapers whenever a Japanese athlete got a medal, even silver ones.

Recent events have turned this sentiment around 180 degrees.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Japan is famous for running on consensus

The spelling isn’t quite perfect, but if you take the “sense” out of “consensus”, you’re left with “con us”.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

The IOC chips in only about $1.5 billion to the overall cost, and some are in-kind contributions that do not involve cash.

The pressure to hold the Olympics is largely financial for the Switzerland-based IOC, a nonprofit but highly commercial body that earns 91% of its income from broadcast rights and sponsorship. Estimates suggest a cancelation could cost it $3 billion to $4 billion in broadcast rights income.

Wait... they're spending about $1.5 billion and a cancelation could cost them $3 billion +? And they're a "nonprofit"?

The tax paying public is being seriously scammed here.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Astute analysis. The government recognizes this, which is why the “supercharging” of the vaccine drive.

Unfortunately it was quite too late, and judging how they are rolling back on the vaccinations also quite too little to reach a meaningful goal.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

“The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

Oh, they finally start to think and use their brains.

Way too late! Besides, it wouldn't make any difference anyways.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

“We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now. We are damned if we do, and damned if we do not,” Kaori Yamaguchi, a member of the Japanese Olympic Committee and a bronze medalist in judo in 1988, wrote in a recent editorial published by the Kyodo news agency. “The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

Well stated.

The pressure to hold the Olympics is largely financial for the Switzerland-based IOC, a nonprofit but highly commercial body that earns 91% of its income from broadcast rights and sponsorship. Estimates suggest a cancelation could cost it $3 billion to $4 billion in broadcast rights income.

What?! It’s all about money? Say it ain’t so! Say it ain’t so!

13 ( +19 / -6 )

The notion that Japan is one big happy family has always been a myth.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Japan being Japan - again playing the victim card - see how we are being forced to hold the Olympics by IOC as out hands are tied

Also how great we are that inspite of this difficult situation we are going to put together best show for everyone to watch on TV but for us elites we will enjoy it live in our air conditioned booths with drinks and steak/sushi dinners at Ginza while the athletes perform for our entertainment

This in a nutshell is the propoganda and ground reality but ofcourse being Japan no media asks tough questions or residents will ever get a straight answer

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Kaori Yamaguchi, a member of the Japanese Olympic Committee and a bronze medalist in judo in 1988,

when the JOC is made up of people who’s soul achievement is 33years ago being able to throw other people around, and would appear to have no previous large event organisation experience, things are not going to go well. Added on top of that the previous organisation boss was a corrupt geriatric given the job because he knew people. Again there is a big difference from collecting large amounts of cash and knowing how to organise a global event.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Dr Shigeru Omi, the government’s top COVID-19 adviser, called it “abnormal” to hold the world’s biggest sports event during a pandemic.

Welcome to the 2021 COVID games!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

How do you feel about the athletes going to Tokyo? Especially those without vaccinations? Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios at least pulled out saying it was not right. Have any Japanese athletes withdrawn?

I do not think that the IOC would sue the Japanese government. Too much bad publicity worldwide.

What about all the bribes that Japan paid to the IOC to even get the games?

It was good to see some people out protesting on the streets today. What a mess.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japan is famous for running on consensus

No. Actually Japan is run by a small number of old men in positions of power who rely on the apathy and conditioning of people below them to make it look like everything is run on consensus.

It starts from indoctrinating kids not to question their seniors, to new company intakes not questioning their superiors. Company management don’t question the word of their superiors, and unions are almost exclusively part of a company rather than being independent.

In such a set up, ‘consensus’ is pretty much a given. People know their voice is unwelcome and powerless.

When you don’t have a voice in your small company, why would you expect your government to listen?

In the last 6-12 months the general consensus has been to cancel the Olympics. Unfortunately that consensus was just the normal people - whereas the consensus in government remained loyal to the understood power structure.

I really hope these Olympics shine a worldwide light on all the other misconceptions Japan is ‘famous for’.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Holding a massive athletic event but let's give you another SOE ...now be quiet you plebs we need to make money and enjoy our steak dinners etc..

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Japan is famous for running on consensus.

One imposed on the people from above and endorsed by the media. Right now the overwhelming popular consensus is to cancel the games and finish the shambolic, stalled vaccination programme, but that's not happening, which reveals the famous 'consensus' to be a myth.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"Japan is famous for running on consensus." - Really? That's an interesting claim.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

"Japan is famous for running on consensus..." and other myths.....

Exactly. Try Authoritarianism.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I think the public have had difficulty getting the organisers understanding.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It is morally irresponsible to hold the Olympics during a pandemic. "Death or Sports (Money)! Your choice!" I don't even feel that this will unify us during these difficult times. It as a snub. Citizens and visa holders can't get vaccinated yet let's get all these Olympians and their staff vaccinated so they can compete. They don't need to compete. They need to stay safe and dodge the next variant that could pop up.

I love Japan but I am really hating it at the same time.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Perhaps, however vainly, there will be actual blowback for ignoring 'the consensus' of the people - simply, a very large majority oppose holding the games. The IOC, JOC and LDP care not one wit about the citizenry. The IOC has been vocal about its disdain for the peoples of Japan.

The LDP, under the 'leadership' of Suga and Koike (who seems to have taken to her bed in these times of trouble) has acted as a factotum for the IOC. The fortunes of the LDP have been dependent on apathy and lethargy among the electorate - the notion that nothing will change. Those in the hinterlands have supported the atavistic politicos that are conservative & right-wing with no offset from the very large urban/metro areas.

If, indeed, the variant is spread via the Olympics or the Tokyo variant emerges, it will magnify the gross neglect exhibited by those insistent on holding the games and knowingly & purposefully brought an ill-conceived venture to Japan. Responsibility lies directly on Suga and his cronies. Who should be banished by the electorate.

These Olympics belong to Abe. The man dressed as Mario, who slid thru a tube at the Rio Olympics in a ridiculous costume. Suga was his former hatchet man, who carried Abe's policies and Olympic plans forward. Abe was offered the possibility, by the IOC, to postpone the games until 2022. Instead he opted for 2021. Why? Because it was to be his legacy, as he would have departed office in September 2021, in the glow of the aftermath of the games. As is, he has disappeared from public view.

That Suga carried forth, exhibits naught but ambition and the seduction of power. Which will not (hopefully) end well for he & the LDP.

The intent, to boost industrial tourism was a folly from its inception. Suga was a key actor in that economic stratagem. Investment in infrastructure prior to and in anticipation of the games is evident throughout major 'tourist destinations'. Keying in on tourists from Asia, especially China, has been ongoing for the past three or so years. The construction of hotels has been a growth industry wedded to the expected influx of Chinese tourists prior to and during the Olympics. Which by 'showing off' the beauty of Japan during the Olympics would be an advertisement encouraging even greater numbers post-Olympics. A flawed strategy, which has culminated in an epidemic devastating local business, local businesses being a keystone to the overall culture that is Japan.

Medical and scientific experts predict: the Olympics will result in the spread of the variant within an unvaccinated population. The opposite of the PR bordering on propaganda mouthed by the IOC, who seemingly ignore fact and science.

To quote Dick Pound of the IOC: "Barring Armageddon that we can't see or anticipate, these things are a go."

To which he added this rather bold mis-statement of the truth: "I really don't know what the issue is other than you've got a well-informed, scientific group in contact with public health, which say that there's no incremental risk going ahead with the Games to the Japanese," Pound told Standard Sport.

Add to that this spin and propaganda: John Coates, chair of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, also claimed that it was now "clearer than ever" the Games would be safe for everyone participating, as well as the general public in Japan.

Let the games begin. Which is more of an eulogy.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"best prepared Olympics ever" .... concerning what?

Wasting tax payer's money, looking forward to increasing tax revenues (collected from Mr. and Mrs. Watanabe), hoping for profit (which will of course not happen, except for a very few "elite ones". Again, Bach is also living in his own, little world.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

as much as IOC is a corrupt organisation, it's the oyaji politician's fault for bending over backwards.

out with them all, bring in young, fresh thinkers.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How do you feel about the athletes going to Tokyo? Especially those without vaccinations? Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios at least pulled out saying it was not right. Have any Japanese athletes withdrawn?

I do not think that the IOC would sue the Japanese government. Too much bad publicity worldwide.

What about all the bribes that Japan paid to the IOC to even get the games?

It was good to see some people out protesting on the streets today. What a mess.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I have just one hope after this fiasco and that is, that people in Japan have learned from this and will never again wish to hold Olympics ever again!!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now. We are damned if we do, and damned if we do not,” 

love the use of passive voice. You cornerned yourselves, fool. It’s the nation that’s been cornered by your stupidity and greed, and you think you’re going to save face??

6 ( +7 / -1 )

80% of Japanese people do not want Olympics. Suga is not keeping his words.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As Suga's "Go to Travel" failed, the Olympic also will fail.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“It’s a bit like a gambler who already has lost too much,” said Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo. “Pulling out of it now will only confirm the huge losses made, but carrying on you can still cling to the hope of winning big and taking it all back.”

Except there is nothing to win back. Japan no longer has anything to gain. It's only the IOC thats stands to win if the Olympics go ahead.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now.

Yeah sure! It is not that you had enough time before that!

The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

That is one of the points that brings out the anger of the people.

very well said Monty!

The notion that Japan is one big happy family has always been a myth.

exactly.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

“We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now. We are damned if we do, and damned if we do not,” Kaori Yamaguchi

That's the root of the problem. The government did basically nothing to stem the virus. Close bars and restaurants early.....whatever.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Worth repeating:

Vaccination of the Japanese population was the only way that the Olympics could have been held successfully. You blew it through sheer stupidity. You dumb @#@#s!!

Astute analysis. The government recognizes this, which is why the “supercharging” of the vaccine drive.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Yep. Japan is the victim again.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

YOU KNOW WHOS GONNA SUFFER HERE YOUR WALLET! In any case Japan will lose billions of yen! My wife’s a tax accountant she got news on tax rates rising same as the tsunami nuclear disaster. We’re still paying for that too!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It’s two weeks away but just go ahead and cancel it anyway. This is a huge disaster - cut your loses Japan. There is no shame in canceling an Olympics due to a global pandemic. The IOC is just using you to get paid.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The LDP could lose big in the next general election.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.”

True. Just like the government. But all is good if we keep talking about how we're "famously run on consensus". If only those outsiders didn't always have to ruin that!

“Pulling out of it now will only confirm the huge losses made, but carrying on you can still cling to the hope of winning big and taking it all back.”

No, the people of Japan are going to lose big time either way. The only ones who could maybe "win big" are corporations and politicians who will be forgiven after a few well-planned media appearances. Again, no problem with that if we, despite preventable loss of life in the pandemic, we keep our "national pride", right?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan has recently had a very successful sporting event, the Rugby WC, but it was a success because it was a big party. A lot of the play and who won even has already been forgotten. It doesn't look like it has done much for rugby in Japan, few new grass roots clubs (none for my kids), no real increase in rugby on tv, no top selliing rugby video game raising the profile, etc. but the "party" aspect was a roaring success.

By not having fans, and especially foreign fans, the Olympics will not be a party. And if it is not a party, then what is the point? It means the Olympics will have to do other far more difficult things, e.g., double or triple participation in sports like judo and find lots of ways to fill expensive-to-maintain stadia, to be a success.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The IOC also seems to think that public opinion in Japan is not important.

They are damn right, it doesn't matter at all. The inept media has already began to

whip up the nationalism and when the show begins it will reach high gear and when

Japanese athletes start winning medals all the negativity of this Olympics will be forgotten

and the euphoria will set and everybody will feel proud and revel in the success.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We are hoping that there won’t be so many people,” Dr. Tetsuya Miyamoto said, director of medical services for Tokyo 2020. “This is an infectious disease we are talking about. It has the possibility of spreading. So once that happens, the numbers could start to explode.”

Hoping the numbers don’t start to explode which is possible and could happen. And this is from the director of medical services. Hmmm.

”There is no such person as Dr. Tetsuya Morimoto” said a government spokesperson. “He is a fictional construct and is currently undergoing correctional treatment for his incorrect ideas. Hang on, I don’t think I was supposed to say that last part”.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

$15.4 billion? Really? That's all this costs, let's say it costs twice that 30 billion; still, that's all? That's like nothing in this day and age. It's laughable that they would keep going for only 14 to 30 billion. Because there's a lot more going on here; simply put:You don't run some like this down people's throat for such a small amount of money. This is very deep, and some one is indebted to someone else for a whole lot; were just not privy to to the whole story. Stay tuned.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think it's kind of sad that England has more of a kamikaze mentality...

You know that the "kamikaze mentality" was just the glorification of suicide in a losing battle, right? It's not something to which one should usually aspire.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can take your Olympics and stick ‘em where the sun don’t shine.

At the bottom of the ocean?

In a deep cave?

A mine shaft?

A tunnel?

Am I even close?

Couldn’t resist, clearly.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

16% fully vaccinated? I doubt that. What you mean is that 16% have received two vaccinations shots. With an empirical known efficacy of 64% against delta after two shots you can easily calculate, (Bayes, probability tree) that almost no one is fully vaccinated. The same btw for all other countries. In this case here, you’ll get a result of 0.64 x 0.64 x 0.16 = 6.55% Astonishing or shocked? Not really…

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“We are hoping that there won’t be so many people,” Dr. Tetsuya Miyamoto said, director of medical services for Tokyo 2020. “This is an infectious disease we are talking about. It has the possibility of spreading. So once that happens, the numbers could start to explode.”

Hoping the numbers don’t start to explode which is possible and could happen. And this is from the director of medical services. Hmmm.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A monumental waste of public…what we get for it is the Japanese Olympic Variant 21!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is famous for running on consensus. But the decision to proceed with the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics has shredded it

Since when ?

Does the author of this article know the meaning of "Consensus" ? Has he even stayed longer here in Japan, because if he has he would know that the consensus is among the various factions within the LDP. Neither opposition or the populace matters.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“It’s a bit like a gambler who already has lost too much,” said Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo. “Pulling out of it now will only confirm the huge losses made, but carrying on you can still cling to the hope of winning big and taking it all back.”

In a few weeks it’s all over. The gambler takes what’s left of their chips and staggers home.

As for winning it “Big”: Isn’t that the quintessential definition of a gambler who stayed far to long at the table?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is famous for running on consensus. 

A long-running myth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They should have fully vaccinated the people of Tokyo first before other parts of Japan then they could have held the games safely and it also would have stopped Tokyo spreading the virus.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

That and to set another SOE with damaging peoples vaccations and drive many small restaurants into bancruptcy

Good propaganda job, I see that you have also been made to believe that it is only restaurants that have and continue to suffer from this pandemic.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

While the Games may still end up wowing television audiences who will tune in around the world, the pandemic has removed any sense of celebration

Utter nonsense, when it starts people will celebrate like nothing was wrong. The vast majority feeble-minded.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Fortunately we have journalistic forces with individual integrity in Japan allowed to ask the hard questions, and not a kabuki theater facade like other lesser nations!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think it's kind of sad that England has more of a kamikaze mentality holding the Euros with no masks and social distancing and lots of cheering while Japan won't even allow fans at a low-risk, outdoor sporting event like the marathon. Pathetic.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

IOC President Thomas Bach called Tokyo the “best prepared Olympics ever” — and he still says it repeatedly.

The only voice of reason it seems!

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites