tokyo 2020 olympics

In Tokyo, a growing sense of angst over virus-hit Games

24 Comments
By Naomi Tajitsu and Makiko Yamazaki

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24 Comments
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The issue in not whether Japan recovers from the virus in time - but whether the rest of the world has. You cannot invite Olympics teams and delegates and coaches from countries with an epidemic. If China, Korea, the US, the UK cannot travel it's not much of an Olympics.

Japan might clear itself then be inviting the virus back again.

Many people are concerned about their jobs and businesses. This will impact visitors.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

One way to gauge in which direction people are leaning is to survey hotels on July/August cancellations. This would give an early indication.

Have a feeling that many of the 600,000 were to have come from China / Korea anyway. Not sure they'll come now, even if restrictions lifted. I think the damage has been done.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Thiis isn't just about Japan, if other countries are having problems with the virus it would be madness to allow athletes and officilas, let alone spectators, to travel to Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I really hope the virus subsides by then, because it would be an awful blow to the country's psyche and of course, the economy.

But, if it has to be cancelled, so be it. Better safe than sorry.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

True, but these are desperate times. Faced with an Olympics without spectators, no Olympics at all or an Olympics that clashes with other sports the sponsors may have no choice but to compromise. Of course, they won't be coughing up the same fees...

Desperate times means that the sponsors demand their refunds and compensations.

Moving the sports to months where it clashes with other sports (also with their own broadcasting contracts/sponsors and the actual athletes who join the olympics) will be met with stiff resistance.

Olympics without the big cashflow from USA sponsors would be a big financial loss (to the IOC, not to Japan), so the IOC will not support it lightly. Postponing a year, or cancelling all together would be a financial loss (but to Japan, not so much to IOC who simply refund and dont incurr any expenses - expenses are borne by Japan/Tokyo by the way.) SO, from IOC perspective, postpone by a year or cancel is cheaper for them! Unfortunately so.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cancel the Games Please now! how many more times do the faceless populous of Japan have to become victim to the red tabe leeching vampires of Japan Inc... Reported infection counts are a magnitude higher than the published statistics yet the nonchalant approach to this crisis is becoming yet another bury our heads in the sand attitude so common to the Abe years of Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Olympic games have been an only political and commercial game since decades.

Athletes are just the show-wo-men.

The problem is that it is a very expensive one and if cancelled, ....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, if you knew your sports,you'd know that time frame wouldn't work for the biggest sponsor of the Games.Namely the good ol' U. S. of A.

True, but these are desperate times. Faced with an Olympics without spectators, no Olympics at all or an Olympics that clashes with other sports the sponsors may have no choice but to compromise. Of course, they won't be coughing up the same fees...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The way things are right now it would be insanity to even consider having the games as planned. Time for plan B.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Eric I agree. I'm sure that the sponsors are already doing their sums. They'll have to join a long list of people who already aren't making as much money as they thought they would from the circus. You can include every hotel in Tokyo, who has been charging $300 a night for a basic room.

Such awful timing for Japan, they must feel that they are cursed.

If the games were to proceed with no spectators, the legacy of Tokyo 2020 would be the worst, most boring Olympics ever.

I rarely agree with Ganbare!, but this is true. It's probably already too late though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Could we please ask the people of Tokyo and environs if they want to run the risk of a mass reinfection just to pander to some politician's egos? The money that could better have been used in Tohoku has already been wasted. No need for people to die for this.

This virus has barely reached Africa, India and South America, about half of the world's population.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Delay the games - move to late September or early October.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"cancellation or delay of the Games would be unacceptable for the athletes."

Yeah, right. It would be unacceptable to the sponsors and your other vested interests, is what you mean. I mean, if it's "all about the athletes", why did none of them -- only sponsors and companies donated money -- meet in the meetings to discuss what's happening?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan will just ban testing by May and they'll get to claim that Japan is coronavirus free for the Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Games will be cancelled or postponed...enough said .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With the WHO having just offically announcing it as a pandemic, I think you'll see things move very quickly now.

Postponing the Olympics until the the end of the year, or even next year won't be an option, due to the massive logistical nightmare that would entail.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they'll postpone it until '22.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Imagine competing with Nocov-19 running rampant in the body.

After keeling over, it would be the end of you...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Although keeping spectators away would cost an estimated $800 million in lost ticket sales, it could still provide billions in revenue from broadcast and marketing rights.

If the games were to proceed with no spectators, the legacy of Tokyo 2020 would be the worst, most boring Olympics ever.

Tokyo-Sapporo 2021 is the only realistic option.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo 2020 organizing committee did not respond to a request for comment.

I can imagine they're having some difficult meetings right now

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many mom and pop shops run by elders will go under, but probably have lot of cash under the mattress...aka Futon to be able to do well through more years.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A mere negative outlook alongside rumors going viral without solid assessments may discourage confidence and pace of preparations. The cancellation of the Tokyo Games due to unprecedented contingencies, without offering any viable Plan B, could also ruin the honorable century-old sporting event itself. Excessive commercialism and other red-tapes like singly city-only rule largely limit re-scheduling and alternatives.

Although I don't buy such a conspiracy-type, another rumor tells that there's a covert move in a way that people are encouraged to move on and hold higher expectations on the next closest Olympics, or the winter Games 2022 held in Beijing. But how could we possibly be so sure that China will have been virus-free and safe by then?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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