Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
tokyo 2020 olympics

Japan to vaccinate Olympic athletes: reports


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

© 2021 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

now, if only we can find someone to do the injections, we can use the free vaccine doses....

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Cancel this trainwreck olympics, and start getting more vaccines into the arms of the healthcare workers. Athletes are the least important.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

I am absolutely disgusted and very angry with this behavior. Utterly reprehensible. It will take a long time for Japan to recover its image after this Olympics debacle

35 ( +35 / -0 )

Beyond disgusting but the athletes can now proof what they are made off and refuse this preferred treatment and get the respect from all of us.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

I'm sure Suga and the IOC, AND Bach, are very popular at the moment. We can see where the health priorities are in Japan, and it's definitely not on its citizens and residents. Don't expect to be reelected and the same goes for Koike. I'm definitely mute to anything going on in Japanese government and the Olympics.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Did we expect anything different? Honestly...

23 ( +23 / -0 )

The Olympics are no longer the issue, (although its a issue) it's a debacle no doubt., the issue is vacation and the bizarre way the government at every twist and turn has failed. It really looks like it is done on purpose. Now if not then that's a greater debacle.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Wow. The citizens and residents who pay taxes are the ones getting royally screwed. Wasn’t the point to paying taxes to benefit the inhabitants of this country? Bunch of worthless nitwits running the country. Yeesh.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Animal farm

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Isn't it around 1% of the general public yet vaccineted? And the majority of those are health workers. Will they have the audacity to vaccinate more sports people than civilians?! Incredible that vaccinces are stockpiled and day after day they they just rub more salt in the wound. Crass [redacted] -ers

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Most democratic countries have a system of independent public enquiries. Many countries need to commission thorough enquiries into the handling of the pandemic (the UK, the US at the top of the list), but Japan needs an enquiry that tackles covide (mis) management AND the Olympics as a connected and key factor.

I fear it would take a New York level public health disaster during the Olympics itself to compel an enquiry. And then we'll discover that the enquiry was headed by a former Dentsu executive. And the LDP will remain in power. Just as with 2011, there'll be minimal systemic change and no accountability.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Why am I not the least bit surprised...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Athletes should be presented with the list of names of all Japanese who were not vaccinated and pass on the day of their events.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Makes perfect sense, spend more tax payers money protecting the healthiest, fittest, strongest, most self interested people on the planet while those who have built this country and paid taxes and need it the most are left without any protection or care, ! Whats next from these clever people in the Diet and the IOC ?

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Suga last month - this will not happen.

Suga May 5 - this will not happen.

Suga yesterday - this will not happen.

Suga today - . .. ... .... .....

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Oh no, they didn't....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan's government had previously denied it was considering a plan to vaccinate athletes ahead of the general population.

And there it is. Screw the people who pay your salaries.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Japan to vaccinate Olympic athletes: reports

At the pace they are going, I assume this is a reference to participants in the 2024 games.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I think we are past the point of no return now with 10 weeks to go. Athletes all over the world are vaccinating, teams have been selected, uniforms unveiled, etc. Except for North Korea, no country has said they are not coming.

My attitude now is let's get the damned thing over with.

Strangely enough, the Paralympics seem to get overlooked in all this. They begin two weeks after the Olympics end, and don't finish until September. So that will be another factor in the drawn-out process.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

How are the athletes going to justify taking the spots for vaccines? Now anybody that loses a family member to the disease because it could not be immunized on time can now validly blame them, is that what they want the games to represent?

21 ( +21 / -0 )

If this is confirmed, the deaths of elderly people ( y’know, people’s mums and dads ) from Covid in an Osaka nursing home should be fresh enough in the memory.

Couldn’t get vaccinations out to them, eh?

15 ( +15 / -0 )


Can't believe a single word that comes out of their mouths.

It's not coming out of their mouths.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

@ snowymountainhell

I'm in Australia. Got a text message today from my local medical centre to make an appointment. Can't be that hard to do. Can't believe I've been bitching about Oz politicians all these years. They're geniuses compared to Japan's.

12 ( +12 / -0 )


How are the athletes going to justify taking the spots for vaccines? Now anybody that loses a family member to the disease because it could not be immunized on time can now validly blame them, is that what they want the games to represent?

Having lived here nearly 25 years this does not surprise me. The Japanese government does not care about Japanese citizens. This comes from my wife and her family (Japanese).

As for us foreign residents. We are further down the totem pole.

It is truly disgusting and so selfish.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@ snowymountainhell

I'd say reserve me a seat but they won't let not celebrities athletes or politicians leave.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You mean they lied?? NEVER!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Oh dear! How will they fight the websites going down, logistical nightmare, lack of doctors, lack of vaccines and get this done? Can they pull it off?

YOU BET YOUR BUTT THEY CAN! They need to line their pockets¥¥¥. When ¥ is involved, there is always a way! In the meantime, the elderly will continue to die at home while the IOC eats Waygu A5, and has a night out on the town during a pandemic!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Excellent news, safety first to ensure no spreading of Covid. However the Covid conspiracy theorists go potty about this.

Glad I haven’t lost rational thinking since this Covid business started.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

So they could be getting the vaccine before all the medical staff get there jabs. Then before the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions. This event needs to be delayed and they take there turn with the rest of us.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This may be an unpopular opinion, but at this point I'm just happy to hear that vaccines are going into arms. Any arms.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Sometimes the disconnect between us, the people, and our host nation's inept government is amusing.

Not now.

It's a disgrace. No matter what our individual politics, this farce should be tackled and the government should get their priorities sorted.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Japanese team just won Gold in the Queue Jump.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Money before people again, Japan is forced to do this because many other nations have already vaccinated so many including the athletes coming to Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

These are some tough ‘pills’ for the Japanese people to swallow:

“Take one in the morning”:

- “280 sports doctors apply for 200 spots needed for Tokyo Olympics“ - Today 6:20am

”and, one more in the evening.”:

- “Japan to vaccinate Olympic athletes” - Today 6:40pm

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I’d like to know what this “Covid conspiracy theory” is that keeps being referred to here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Indian coronavirus variant has now spread to almost 50 countries, says WHO

And Japan still wants to hold the Olympics believing that vaccinating a few athletes is going to make it safe. Big mistake, which is going to cost lives!

4 ( +6 / -2 )


The Covid Conspiracy Theorists are people who claim the virus is far deadlier than it actually is for the average person. They live in fear and want lockdowns and compulsory vaccinations. Their fear makes them slightly deluded and angry, anyone who disagrees with their theory is branded as selfish, some go as far as calling others killers

There are numerous examples posting here daily to varying degrees.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )


Why is this a ‘conspiracy theory’?

Why do people conspire to achieve this?

What is their goal?

6 ( +8 / -2 )


Im afraid I don’t know their mindset so I cannot answer. I think many have fallen for the hysteria in the western press about Covid Doomsday Scenarios. This has made theM fearful of daily activities and any socializing. This leads to depression and anger and resentment to those who carry on with their lives even if taking precautions.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

The Covid Conspiracy Theorists are people who claim the virus is far deadlier than it actually is for the average person.

That makes no sense, if all the most respected experts of the world, and every well known medical and scientific institution say the same thing, while people without any expertise nor data to support their opinion say the opposite, why would you think the first group are all into a conspiracy?

It is much more likely that the people that don't know better simply don't want to accept the measures that the experts say are necessary to control the pandemic and use the supposed conspiracy as an excuse to reject the consensus of science and do as they like.

Of course, you could prove this false by referencing one well recognized institution that says that COVID is not really that dangerous and that the measures for its control are exaggerated, but if you cannot find such and example that should be enough to make you think why.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I was trying to think of some one that could make a bigger mess of things than the Jgov and I couldn't, I even thought of my friends son back home who is a serious methhead living in a trailer and thought even he couldn't do worse.

But then I come here and read the comments from anti vaxxers and Covid conspiracy people and realise there actually are people that could do worse than the Jgov.

5 ( +7 / -2 )


Im afraid I don’t know their mindset so I cannot answer. 

If you don’t know, why do you call it a ‘conspiracy theory’? A conspiracy theory (usually) has some goal behind it.

If you want to call this belief a ‘mass delusion’ or ‘mass hysteria’ then I think that’d be expressing your opinion more accurately than describing this as a ‘conspiracy theory’.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

....Suga: "I've never prioritised the Olympics"

.... "Japan to vaccinate olympic athletes..."

....."Monthly death toll in Osaka broken in less than two weeks" http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14347147

.... "Desperation at Tokyo Hospital: Stop the Olympics" http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14344117

.... Suga's health policy advisor: "LOL"

8 ( +8 / -0 )


I don’t feel any hatred. I do, however, have an opinion, one which is supported by many others.

As I’ve written before, I can see a model that’s worked for my family and friends back in Australia. Because of steps that were taken there, they don’t have to continue to wear masks, to sit in partitioned restaurants, or to live as restricted a life as they did in 2020. Is it a permanent, infallible solution? I don’t know - time will tell. However, the policies carried out there have proven effective so far.

Am I being rude?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The government did this because they know they can get away with it.

It is not like the voters will change their votes. The politicians know that they have total loyalty of their region's voters, as them and their family are seen as the only legitimate rulers. So it doesn't matter how many policies the Japanese people may oppose, even if the Japanese voters say they don't support their current politician's policies, when it comes to voting day, the vast majority will still vote for the politician that came from their local political family. The politicians do not need to serve or even care about the people, because they know nothing they do can shake the loyalty.

I mean the politicians can pass a law to change tax rate to 90% for everyone and change their salaries to 1 trillion, and the voters will still vote them back in come election time even if they are starving and homeless.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is very very clear, if you cannot see the truth in what is happening then you are blinkered to the believe they have been selling you for decades or generations.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Many of these athletes will probably refuse the vaccine. They won't be in contact with the general population during the Olympics and they are at very low risk of getting seriously ill.

Besides, they are holding pro baseball games every night in Japan and the public is not enraged. Over a dozen Fighters players tested positive for Covid in early May and they keep on playing games. Stadiums outside of the SOE areas still have fans in the seats.

Sport is important to the Japanese and they will always find a way to make them happen, including the games.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )


No you’re nit being rude this time I agree.

Things work differently in each country, Australia seems to be doing not badly but is much different than Japan. Much more obese people, smaller population in a larger land mass. Also there have been some draconian lockdowns there which I find abhorrent.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Olympic is going to be held under the pride of Japanese government, sacrificing lives of citizens with corona virus. How cheap our lives are to be seen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a classic example of why people do not trust the media these days.

If the IOC is providing the vaccines, the athletes are not being placed "ahead of the line." These vaccines would never have made it to Japan otherwise.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

LOL China will also vaccinate their athletes to. Perhaps under the disguise as doping!!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is a classic example of why people do not trust the media these days.

If the IOC is providing the vaccines, the athletes are not being placed "ahead of the line." 

Not so quick there with the half truth please.

The deal for Pfizer to "Donate" Vaccine was made with the IOC AND Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. ( JT May 7  07:35 am JST )

or did you forget that part?

So Suga seems to have enough time on his hands to work on a deal to get the athletes, etc... vaccinated but can't seem to get the local vaccination working.

So yes the athletes are getting passed infort and getting special privileges.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Wow! Only around 2500 Olympic athletes and staff members?

No problem, according to Japan's 1500 vaccines in one day limit, they should be able to knock the first round over the weekend, right? In theory.........

How much would you like to bet that even that will take at least 6 weeks just to plan where the vaccine spots will be for that.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm so very disappointed, in the comments here.

The vaccines are being provided outside any J-govt efforts.

The vaccines go towards people who will help entertain the world for 3 weeks and beyond.

The world can use a huge distraction that is the Olympics to forget their COVID problems for a few days/weeks. Mental health is important, yes?

As for failures by the J-Govt in approving and rolling out the vaccines widely, that's a separate issue. Good thing there is centralized health care in Japan. That fixes everything. Er ... perhaps not.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

The Olympics. A spectacle on steroids with low rent jingoistic posturing. Purchased and marketed by such as Nike. Folks need a distraction? That's a rationale? It is not centralized healthcare, it is national healthcare. The healthcare providers in the USA, primarily hospitals and insurers are not the parties responsible and able to 'roll out' the vaccine. It has been local, county and regional governments along with states and the federal government (federal government seems to be dependent on phases of the moon). The private healthcare system, in the USA, was a fiasco with every manner of shortage. Prefecture and municipal governments will be the responsible entities in Japan that get the job done.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Im afraid I don’t know their mindset so I cannot answer. I"

I'm afraid there is a lot more than that (that) you don't know...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Olympic people should have been their shots before coming to Japan.

That I aside, they should not have come here in the first place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While the old and vulnerable sit and wait. The contempt the IOC and the government have for the people of Japan is unforgivable.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The show must go on but the masses are not being entertained-oh dear...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Organizers have come under fire for requesting medical volunteers step forward to help during the Games at a time when Japan's healthcare system is under pressure from a fourth virus wave.

Not much more to say about that... Just reposting just in case the JOC, IOC, and the Japanese Government didn't see it. :-)

Despite public opposition, organizers insist the Games can be held safely this summer, pointing to safety guidelines, increasing vaccination of athletes and a series of recent test events in Tokyo.

Are they pointing to the same safety guidelines that the Japanese citizens were expected to follow? How's that working out?!? Oh, wait... it isn't.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is getting old.

I get it, you don't want the Olympics to be hosted, but the decision has been made already. They will host the Olympics.

Same comments on every article on repeat. Get a room already.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It is only logical that the country hosting the Olympic games should vaccinate its own athletes and all other officials and employees involved in staging the games. A good host would never wish to chance infecting a guest.

Once all the Olympic people have been vaccinated , the focus should be on health care providers and people involved in transporting people and goods and those who interact with the public, such as store clerks, police , and other government workers.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This should only happen if Japan has a successful, high paced vaccination campaign in place for its citizens/residents. But Japan does not. Once again, the Olympic games are competing with Japan’s COVID response for time, focus and resources. Leaders should not be spending hours in meetings resolving logistics around hosting the Olympics. They should be working around the clock to quickly unblock every vaccination issue that surfaces and increase velocity. For Japan, vaccinating the nation SHOULD BE the Olympics!

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