tokyo 2020 olympics

Olympic host towns pull out over pandemic

88 Comments
By Hiroshi Hiyama

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88 Comments
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Boo hoo?

Dust yourself off and carry on, this whole thing has been a nightmare for literally everyone on this planet

-19 ( +21 / -40 )

I am sure many more will follow!

It's just not worth "it"!

37 ( +41 / -4 )

Its too late now, but it was fairly obvious more than a year ago that holding the games in any normal way would be impossible. They have made their decision and by God, they have stuck to it. The risks of athletes bringing infection is low but the games will be a poor shadow of a real games. The Japanese tax payer is the biggest loser in this farce.

39 ( +44 / -5 )

"There are things you can do without spending a lot of money. "

Fire this man. He clearly does not have the Tokyo 2020 spirit.

34 ( +40 / -6 )

What was obvious to the rest of the world somehow eluded Suga and his cronies: a pandemic is not a good time to host the olympics. Maybe they understand now.

48 ( +48 / -0 )

Cancel the damn thing already!!

51 ( +55 / -4 )

Some very ominous looking accompanying photos reflecting the general mood of the population here. Finally, an appropriate editorial choice.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

please postpone til 2022!!!!

14 ( +20 / -6 )

The western town of Okuizumo in Shimane Prefecture spent more than 500 million yen preparing to welcome India's hockey team for a pre-Games training camp, only to scrap the visit because of COVID-19.

Given the state of COVID in Japan, to say nothing of the disaster in India, it seems the leaders of the town of Okuizumo are better at judging the dangers of this Olympic folly than the bigwigs in Tokyo.

33 ( +33 / -0 )

please postpone til 2022!!!!

Surely you meant 2032.

Totally agree, lock in the 2032 edition instead, to be able to hold a normal version of the Olympics and one that the japanese population approves and will be able to benefit from.

Going forward with this Tokyo 2021 Olympics is nothing more than a clear provocation and disrespect towards most japanese population (80%), who is against it this year.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Down the drain for anything related to Olympics. 9 out of 10 people won't spend their time watching the Olympic. A family will watch their owm favourite programs in their rooms. Not going to be like classic get together family showtime.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

It is extremely unfortunate that covid is causing so many issues. Nobody was or is acting out of malice with these decisions.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Tokyo Olympics is gone.

Get ready gor Paris 2024!!

20 ( +24 / -4 )

with every stumbling backward step in this shambles, I keep thinking that former PM Abe made a shrewd move, stepping out of the game when he did....

24 ( +24 / -0 )

I am confused. Weren't we told that athletes can only arrive a few days before the events and leave immediately? How can hosting even be possible under that plan?

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Surely you meant 2032.

thank you. I needed a good laugh this morning. :)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The risks of athletes bringing infection is low

Really? Are you going to host the Indian team in your neighborhood?

26 ( +28 / -2 )

In Tottori Prefecture, Yonago city will host

The athletes will be on a designated floor and use a staff elevator of their hotel, avoiding the lobby and main entrance to limit contact.

Sure....

They will also be offered frequent virus testing

I wonder how many residents of Yonago city have been able to get a test since the beginning of the pandemic...

26 ( +27 / -1 )

It's refreshing to see that some local government officials actually care about their communities and are prepared to make hard decisions. Unlike the "leaders" in that national government.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

The Japanese gov't is watching their dreams crumble right before their own eyes.

canceltheolympics
21 ( +23 / -2 )

Olympic host towns pull out over pandemic

Looks like the local govs are showing more leadership and common sense than the national gov.

Maybe that will be the catalyst to finally end this ridiculous attempt at hosting this ridiculous event.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

These Olympics have been nothing but a plague. This is further punishment for the avarice and lies used to procure these games.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

It is a contradiction that towns have to accept foreigners for Olympics while the government is asking people to restrict traveling between prefectures.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

I didn't know there were Vultures in Tokyo bay? But there they are circling the Olympic Rings.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Looks like the local govs are showing more leadership and common sense than the national gov.

As opposed to the inept bunch in Kasumigaseki, most local government officials are actually just normal residents, not chauffeured around in Toyota Centuries and Vellfiries, and certainly not prioritized for vaccines.

So they, and their families are directly at risk from the virus, just like any other citizen. It's not surprising that they can make the correct decision.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

the worst is under control but the good out of control

many of tv. channel will take this to fight japan and people who have have faith in allah so for the japan government treat them in fare way of save what they can from japan culture and rep so with covid-19 they can hit them in 1 to 10 way to stop it or take it and fight there news and camera and make it back to japan the real land for truth olympya with there rules

-23 ( +0 / -23 )

People please thumb me DOWN if you think the Olympics should be canceled or UP if you think they shouldn’t.

-32 ( +1 / -33 )

From Kenya TV

https://youtu.be/yanPCNUGeP8

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SADDLY but Understandable, this news must be heartbreaking to many spectators, fans and the the kids who were looking forward to see and may be share some moments with the athletes.

I think the time has come to postpone or even Cancel this Olympic, the risks outweigh the benefits.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Don.t call it 2020 - Olympics, call it 2020 - sports disaster.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Bubble like biosecurity with tests and medical care ? Pfffff..

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It is sobering to see how a small local government can be much more rational and responsible than the national level. The town will lose a lot of money and their hopes about the olympics, but still choose to do the correct thing and scrap an activity that would only bring risk to the population.

Now if only Tokyo and Japan in general would do the same thing on time to prevent unnecessary problems...

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Cancel the damn Olympics!

21 ( +21 / -0 )

please postpone til 2022!!!!

And drag us further into more expenses to benefit these IOC morons? No thanks.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

These Olympics have been nothing but a plague. This is further punishment for the avarice and lies used to procure these games.

Not to mention a waste of taxpayers' money on hidden envelopes. Diamond Princess anyone?? Cleaner shredding the accounting documents??

Actually, I don't consider the Olympics as the plague, it was the inept Jgov that couldn't overcome crises after crises. If the host city was in Australia, NZ, South Korea, or Taiwan, the Olympic games would have been a success.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

It is now looking likely that the athletes and support staff will all be vaccinated and have to test negative before being allowed to set foot on a plane to Japan. So they will not be a viral threat to anyone.

You cannot catch covid from someone who does not have it, even if they are from abroad.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

@GBR48

You cannot catch covid from someone who does not have it

You sure? Sounds like socialist/liberal fake science to me....

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

just one question.

why olympics are not cancelled yet?

why not yet?

why?

???

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Not only rethink but cancel the whole event please,now that the pandemic is starting to hit hard with it’s multiple variations the third world countries and still the developed ones are struggling with it they should really stop this non sense.

Olympics and hosting athletes in several towns are all about happy celebrations.

Right now there is nothing to celebrate and be happy.

Stop the madness please.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

"Olympic host towns pull out over pandemic"

Suga is steaming now. Heh, heh....

13 ( +13 / -0 )

just one question.

why olympics are not cancelled yet?

why not yet?

why?

???

One rather simple answer......lots of moneeeyyy to be still made for the so called J-elite.

add some pigheaded oyaji pride into the mix too.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

500 million yen for a training camp? Surely there is an extra zero or two in there or someone is getting royally ripped off and/or something fishy is going on...

14 ( +15 / -1 )

This is a good example of who the insurance money goes to when the games are cancelled.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

by now you all know i work in sports marketing. These town hostings are nearly always a loose situation for the hosts and expensive non events. Town officials have no experience in professional sports, the cities pay heavy, free transport, hotels, food, expenses sometimes even cash fees. Nobody remembers the host cities or towns and any returns are in no balance with the costs. The local politicians just promote themselves like the national politicians do, take it from someone who knows

19 ( +20 / -1 )

JUST GIVE IT UP ALREADY! Just postpone it till this all blows over and everyone can come enjoy the olympics! Its like still malking plans for a family picnic during a level 10 hurricaine.

Also......

The western town of Okuizumo in Shimane Prefecture spent more than 500 million yen preparing to welcome India's hockey team

India's hockey team? A country where there's no snow? That alone shoud've told you it would be a waste of money! Its like welcoming and betting on a swimming team from a small town in the Sahara desert!

Moderator: The story refers to field hockey.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Hockey. Not ice hockey.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

hejijToday  07:49 am JST

the worst is under control but the good out of control

many of tv. channel will take this to fight japan and people who have have faith in allah so for the japan government treat them in fare way of save what they can from japan culture and rep so with covid-19 they can hit them in 1 to 10 way to stop it or take it and fight there news and camera and make it back to japan the real land for truth olympya with there rules

What? Anyone got the first idea what this says?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the western town of Okuizumo in Shimane Prefecture spent more than 500 million yen

Okuizumo has a population of 12,500 people, so that's 40,000 yen per resident. 160,000 for a family of four.

I would imagine there will be a way to claim most or all of it back from the national government. Getting money out of "kuni" (the national government) is a major aim of rural politics.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Field hockey? Of all the sports why not pick one the average Japanese student might actually care about.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"PM Abe made a shrewd move, stepping out of the game when he did...." After messing everything up.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

the legacy will remain

What a stupid statement!!!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

sir_bentley28Today  09:13 am JST

India's hockey team? A country where there's no snow? 

As the moderator rightly pointed out, the article is not about ice hockey, there is altogether different game of hockey which you may not be familiar with.

No snow in India? Another gap in your education, northern India can get very cold indeed with a great deal of snow especially where it borders the Himalayas.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Just about everything is stacked against foreign competitors now - treated like lepers, no fans from their own countries, and possibly the minimal of support team, nowhere to spend sufficient time to train, acclimatize and relax. I'd rather just skip the Olympics and let the Japanese athletes win everything.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What was obvious to the rest of the world somehow eluded Suga and his cronies: a pandemic is not a good time to host the olympics. Maybe they understand now.

Really? It is obvious to the rest of the world?

So I guess the rest of the world has pulled their teams out of the Olympics, right?

Oh no they haven't?

So I guess the rest of the world is just a detached from reality as the Japanese government.

As many have posted, the only one that can cancel the games is the IOC even if Tokyo requested the IOC can refuse.

Unless the rest of the world pulls out the IOC will push to hold the games even if it kills everyone in Japan.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Field hockey? Of all the sports why not pick one the average Japanese student might actually care about.

Oddly enough, sports like field hockey, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, lacrosse, are fairly popular sports in jr and sr high schoo even in universitiesl in Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

More than ridiculous continuing with the games. Morally wrong when you see the suffering because of oxygen shortages in India and all the other pandemic problems around the world. If the government is that keen for the Olympics then 2022 is the only answer.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Instead of a town showing foreign athletes their generosity, those athletes will be left with a completely different feeling about Japanese and Japan. Perhaps that is the truth, though I've seen tremendous generosity from my friends in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@theFu

Did you actually read the article?

What "generosity" would foreign Athletes get if these towns still did accept hosting them?

The isolation/quarantine guidelines would mean the teams will be confined to they single location, little or no contact with locals, the places hosting them would need to remain in quarantine including those working there.

There are no benefits to the foreign Athletes or to the hosting towns which cannot afford all the extra expenses that the pandemic regulations require.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Many Japanese Olympics dreams have been shattered by Covid uncertainties.

This is not the end of the story, more financial damage and waste of hard effort would surface to unfold more trauma soon..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Spending local municipal funds to underwrite the costs of a foreign sports team. During a pandemic. Or even if there wasn't. Such costs should be covered by the IOC or the team itself.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Postpone games and torch relay until 2022.

Vaccine rollout nationally across Japan to "completion" (what ever that means).

Better testing and quarantine plan for athletes and officials.

These basic steps will better protect everyone and increase confidence for everyone.

We already know a lot more about this virus than we did last year. Maybe a delay could even allow international spectators form some parts of the world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Antiquesaving

Far out, I didn't know that. I've never seen a field hockey club. Makes more sense now, thanks man.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Have to say I feel gutted for the people of Japan - the Olympics should have been a great moment and you can see from the article that they were expecting this to be a special time.

Putting aside for a minute who is to blame - it’s such a shame it’s turned out like this.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Vreth

Yeah it sort of surprised me when I came to Japan.

The Japanese would go on about being on the school Hockey team.

I am from Canada and was like really your schools have Hockey teams.

Boy was I disappointed to find out they meant Field Hockey.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Pulling out is always the best decision...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After sinking money into upgrading sports facilities, Okuizomo balked when it became clear it would have to provide bubble-like biosecurity measures with regular virus tests and medical care.

What nonsense. The athletes are no problem, and visitors will be local and few. The damage done by the hysterical media and overreacting politicians is worse than any virus.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

the legacy will remain

What a stupid statement!!!

@Paul, maybe this is the first time we have agreed on something.

My heart goes out to all those towns who have invested so much money and sweat preparing to host teams, with many residents feeling the true Olympic spirit. Many looking forward to welcome visitors from sister towns and cities and build up links. It's not for me personally, but I do think it is true hospitality, and great for people to experience. But it is also really encouraging to know that official in Kurihara is prepared to state the obvious:

"It's a project that will use our tax resources. If it becomes just athletes holding a training camp without any exchanges with local residents, local citizens won't enjoy the benefits."

We wouldn't be heading up the creek like this if the national government could talk the same way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is sad to see how this situation that could have been prevented months ago has to happen. It would have been much better to make things clear last year and let small places get their losses

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Spending tax money is easy if in the name of the olympic games.

What sane mayor shall spend 500 million for a sport team from citizen's pockets, even outside Japan ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"The western town of Okuizumo in Shimane Prefecture spent more than 500 million yen..." $5 million? I'm sure it all went to stadium reconstruction, too... So the LDP and the Olympic Committee conspired to hold events or practice sessions from one end of Honshu to the other in an attempt to get local communities to pony up tax money in hopes of somehow monetizing their guests? Omotenashi may not be the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Antiquesaving, Yes, I did read the article, did you?

Some, like Okuizumo, have already scrapped plans to host overseas athletes

That means previously invited guests have been told to go elsewhere. When we invite guests, unless the house burned to the ground, we host them. Perhaps that is a cultural difference?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wasted money squandered by those who have their noses in the trough once more, they care nothing for the people they are supposed to represent everyone can see that quite clearly.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

500 million yen of a towns tax money for basically a meet n greet with the Indian hockey team hardly sounds like good value. Yet again we see what a scam hosting The Olympics is, as that money has no doubt gone to companies connected to politicians. I'm sure there are plenty of underfunded local social projects that really could've done with the money.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Olympic host towns pull out over pandemic

Pulling out doesn't mean the damage hasn't already been done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't understand why these towns are "hosting" athletes in the first place. Didn't Japan spend huge amounts of money and build a huge complex for foreign athletes?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

jojobirdToday  

please postpone til 2022!!!!

Think about it: Japan is living in denial and has been since the beginning of this pandemic. Little to no testing, little vaccine role out, etc, etc. They won't be over this even by 2022. This was obvious from last year. Should have been moved to 2024, and Paris to 2028, etc.

But no matter, we are going through with it in just a few months. What an utter debacle.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They simply have to push it through with all force, because all the next games like Paris’24 etc are of course at stake otherwise too. You surely don’t think, that the pandemic situation will have become better then, or still do you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Setagaya-Ku are scheduled to host the US team, can we have a similar cancellation of host duties please?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What sane mayor shall spend 500 million for a sport team from citizen's pockets, even outside Japan ?

A mayor with links to construction and who can come up with some invented numbers about a tourism boost or how much the prefecture and/or national taxpayer is going to repay them.

Building a sports hall from scratch could easily cost 500 million yen, even a Japanese one without heating or cooling. The most important thing is for the voters to not come away thinking the mayor has taken 40,000 yen out of each of their wallets.

I do not see why any team not paying its own way needs to have a training camp in Japan beforehand. The same 5 million USD would pay for every child in the town to study overseas, a far more valuable form of international exchange than giving some Indian hockey players onigiri and asking if they think they are oishii (the typical level of international exchange events in Japan).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And Canada's table tennis team will no longer go to Nagano's Okaya city, which instead plans to put posters of athletes around town, said Tomoko Hirose of the city's planning division.

I can’t think of a more pathetic yet perfectly fitting metaphor for the disaster these games are than this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I totally understand not cancelling. However, postponing should surely be the best option.

When it comes to money, think about how money will be lost if the international spectators do not attend?

Also, how much focus is there on the current Olympics anyway? The Olympics is supposed to showcase the host country (as it did well for Japan in 1964 and London in 2012).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's measures to Covid-19 are kept away from rationality or science by Olympics or politics or economy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Kurihara city in Miyagi Prefecture was planning to host South Africa's hockey team, but decided the expense was no longer worth it given the limitations imposed by virus measures".

So, whats ther games all about? is it competing against other top atherleats, the comerardery amongst teams, pushing you and your teams abilities to another level? growing and developing new strategies? makeing friend s and showning children and introducing them to a new sport? or is about the money?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, whats ther games all about? is it competing against other top atherleats, the comerardery amongst teams, pushing you and your teams abilities to another level? growing and developing new strategies? makeing friend s and showning children and introducing them to a new sport? or is about the money?

Again someone that didn't read the whole article or decided to ignore parts that do not fit what they want.

From the article:

Okuizomo balked when it became clear it would have to provide bubble-like biosecurity measures with regular virus tests and medical care.

"We wanted to have one of the world's top tier teams visit our town and show their skills to local children," town official Katsumi Nagase told AFP. "But that seems impossible now."

Basically there will be no interaction between locals and foreigners under the IOC/Tokyo Olympics commity rules.

So the whole point is moot.

Again no the athletes will all be segregated into little groups compete and return to segregation, then leave.

How this farce is allowed to continue is beyond comprehension.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think postponement is impossible now. Anyway, 2024 is France's turn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The visiting athletes and coaches will all be vaccinated. It will be the Japanese who aren't vaccinated who suffer, unless a strain comes from somewhere that vaccines don't help massively reduce. Then everyone will suffer.

Why do athletes need to be hosted? First, they'll need appropriate practice areas for their sport and they'll need to be semi-quarantined for the first 2 weeks when they arrive. These are professional athletes who fly in 2 days before the competition, compete and fly out the next day. They will be in Japan 3-4 weeks, perhaps longer, depending on how long the competitions are for their sport.

The Olympics isn't just about going to a foreign place and competing. It is 50% about exchanging cultures, meeting people from around the world, making friends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Call them off for the year. Reschedule them for 2022.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My mistake:

These are professional athletes who fly in 2 days before the competition, compete and fly out the next day.

Correction:

These are NOT professional athletes who fly in 2 days before the competition, compete and fly out the next day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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