tokyo 2020 olympics

Barring fans from abroad for Tokyo Olympics creates many questions

62 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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The IOC and local organizers must turn around public opinion.

Why? What happens if they don't?

29 ( +34 / -5 )

No, it creates one question: why are we doing this?

26 ( +29 / -3 )

Next step: cancel this edition of the Olympics and confirm the 2032 games in Tokyo.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

GdTokyoToday 04:29 pm JST

No, it creates one question: why are we doing this?

Because there is a deadly virus with a number of mutations sweeping the world so Japan can not guarantee the safety of visitors or citizens if masses of travellers come to Japan and bring more of the virus to it's shores.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Many Questions? The article seems to have one. Who will pay for the losses incurred by ticket sellers?

The answer is of course......The Japanese tax payer.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

Get lost olympics. There is no more « Olympic » spirit just pure business.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

Every news of Tokyo Olympic that comes in the newspaper until the Olympics is over so painful for me.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Why? @GdTokyo 4:29p “Why are we doing THIS? - To generate comments, articles, questions, surveys, demographics, target audiences and revenue just like the continuing ‘comedy of errors’ 2020 Olympic story. It’s being drawn out far too long so, we’re trying to ‘milk this dying cow for every last drop’.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Next step: cancel this edition of the Olympics and confirm the 2032 games in Tokyo.

and what will they do with all the apartments they built for the athletes, are they going to hold them for 11 yrs, no theyll have to be sold and more built for 2032, already been stated if the olympic is canceled in 2021 itll be canceled for good

13 ( +13 / -0 )

if they are somewhat involved in the operation then there is still a possibility they may be able to enter into Japan

It will be literally as easy as to say "this hairy dude is the 'booth-babe'" for the sponsor. His presence is indispensable to the operation of the games.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan has attributed fewer than 9,000 deaths to COVID-19 and has handled the pandemic better than most countries its size.

Not compared to any of its peers in Asia, nor any of it's geographic peers (island nation with a non-porous border).

6 ( +12 / -6 )

From the article - “*Cases are expected to start increasing again, but *the ‘hope’ is to avoid a large spike”. Sounds like ‘a plan’ but the question remains: With the IOC and government’s ‘heads in the sand’, where is ‘the spike’ most likely to go?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

but the hope is to avoid a large spike and public concern.

Hope is not a strategy, and a wish is not a plan.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Japan has attributed fewer than 9,000 deaths to COVID-19 and has handled the pandemic better than most countries its size.

"Not compared to any of its peers in Asia, nor any of it's geographic peers (island nation with a non-porous border)."

Does any of its Asian peers have Japan's demographic? You know the Philippines is an Island nation right?

Philippines 13,000 Covid 19 deaths.

and Indonesia is also an Island nation:

Indonesia 40,000 covid 19 deaths.

and both are in Asia.

Think!

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Olympics are a mirage, peddling a dream while they siphon up all those public billions to theIOC and companies

16 ( +17 / -1 )

" where is ‘the spike’ most likely to go?"

Lower than the current cases due to vaccines and social distance measures.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Spot on Zoroto

We had 9 new cases in Australia in the last 24 hrs for a total active of 149. I’d say we are faring much better, more dangerous to travel to Japan for us at the moment.

I understand the Japanese side but Its disappointing there will be no foreign fans, even vaccinated ones.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I understand the Japanese side but Its disappointing there will be no foreign fans, even vaccinated ones.

There is no proof that vaccinated people cannot spread the disease, and 99% of Japanese population is not vaccinated. So it's not disappointing at all.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@Himari Yamada

South Korea: 1,696 deaths (51 million inhabitants, not an island but might as well be)

Taiwan: 10 deaths (23 million inhabitants, island)

New Zealand: 26 deaths (5 million inhabitants, island nation)

Vietnam: 35 deaths (96 million inhabitants, not an island)

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Peter14: "Because there is a deadly virus with a number of mutations sweeping the world so Japan can not guarantee the safety of visitors or citizens if masses of travellers come to Japan and bring more of the virus to it's shores."

The thing is, the nations bringing over their athletes are far more likely to have vaccinated than Japan, and so are the people who would come and see them, unlike Japanese people returning for the Games, or locals here. As such, the people coming are far more likely to be safer than the people here, which is why the NYT asks why the public here is afraid of foreigners coming in when their nations are so far ahead of Japan, and so far most virus has been brought in by Japanese returning home from abroad, and not foreigners.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Here's another question. Would a Japanese citizen living abroad, in New York for example, be allowed to return to Japan to watch an event? It seems there would be nothing to stop them, as Japanese citizens are not subject to entry bans. If this is allowed, but non-Japanese are not allowed to to come from New York, then this would be see as counter to what the Olympics are meant to stand for.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@Zoroto

Perhaps, but proof of vaccination as well as negative covid tests etc would be better than nothing right?

Vaccinated people may carry the disease but if they’re coming from a low risk country and are cleared prior to departure and on arrival and a few days later isn’t the risk minimised?

My point was cases from community transmission in Japan are still ongoing, can’t point the finger at foreigners entirely.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Please cancel the Olympics.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The IOC and Japan have their brains in the wrong part of their bodies. What exactly is the economic benefit going to be from forcing the Olympics this year? Why is the concept of delaying so hard to accept?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

So, at this international sporting event, vaccinated foreigners are banned, but non-vaccinated people are allowed? Ridiculous. If Japan isn't able to host an international event, they should just admit it and cancel the thing.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

IOC receives all of it's broadcast TV rights money (billions), but the Japanese tax payer will have to carry the burden of the costs to host the games? What idiot government official agreed to this deal? NO MORE TAX MONEY FOR THE OLYMPICS!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Who cares?

Get the old money machine back on the go.

BRRRRRRRR

Problem solved.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Ticket sales for fans from abroad is handled by so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers scattered across the globe. They are typically appointed by national Olympic committees and work as middlemen. They are allowed to tack on service fees of up to 20% on tickets. They also sell pricey package deals including hotels.

It's likely the actual ticket price will be refunded, although the timeline is anyone's guess. The fees may be more difficult to recover.

Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto has already said his body is not responsible for refunds on hotels or airline flights.

Muto said 600,000 Olympic tickets had been sold to fans aboard..."

So why do I get the overwhelming impression that foreign ticket holders, once praised for supporting Japan, are going to get screwed, and not get even an apology?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The questions that come to my mind are:

1) Why was Japan, a supposed advanced country with the world's 3rd largest economy, not a leader in developing a vaccine in the first place?

2) Why will the age group 16-64 in Japan not even start receiving vaccines for COVID-19 until September? By the time they start that age group, the USA, Europe and most other developed countries will practically be finished with their vaccinations and already moving on with life and their economies.

Japan could have had it's olympics if it had taken decisive action.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Depending on the venue capacity decisions, Japanese fans will buy up every single available ticket that the foreigners are being forced to part with. There will be no unsold tickets. The real question is whether the Tokyo Olympics can allow 7.8 million spectators. If all were allowed, there will be no financial loss from the tickets. But if they have to impose social distancing constraints, there will be a huge financial loss from forced-vacant seats.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

 But if they have to impose social distancing constraints, there will be a huge financial loss from forced-vacant seats.

There is no way they won't have social distancing measures, especially at indoor events. Even for outdoors, people lining up for bathrooms and such is a problem.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The IOC and Japan have their brains in the wrong part of their bodies. What exactly is the economic benefit going to be from forcing the Olympics this year? "

Its right here, IOC and JOC fatcats wanting their share of the gold now, not later...pure and simple - plus Suga desperately wanting some kind of lift before heading to election in October

what matters to the IOC — is getting the Olympics on television. Broadcast rights in the latest four-year Olympic cycle accounted for 73% of the IOC's income. That broadcast income amounts to about $4 billion

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The only possible outcome really. Now the question is : Do athletes want to come to Japan?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

My point was cases from community transmission in Japan are still ongoing, can’t point the finger at foreigners entirely.

Of course, not. But this is the one factor that they can eliminate.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, another hit to the J Taxpayer.

However, under the circumstances.

I am sorry, three weeks of running, swimming, throwing heavy stuff, or whatever athletes do, track, jumping long distance, swimming pool, lots of arms and legs, riding a bicycle quickly, throwing an object along way ,or waving disks to oblivion.

Notably the Government of China must step up and take reasonability.

Without fear or favor, J Taxpayer must not be the sole contributor.

This stops now!!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This is a good article. Very informative and covering many of the issues surrounding the attempted Tokyo Olympics.

Kudos to the writer.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Anyone buying a ticket should also have bought travel insurance, which should pay out. If you bought your ticket with a credit card, they should be your first port of call.

Vaccinations are likely to be a requirement for international travel for a while. Vaccine roll-outs in Japan and other nations were delayed as each nation insisted on repeating safety testing rather than accepting reputable checks by other nations who had done them first. No nation has adequately expanded its vaccine production facilities, despite having 2020 to get started. That is probably the biggest failure, creating a bottleneck in vaccine supply.

Politically, getting the Olympics out of the way, preferably with some golds, will allow the JPG to remove the albatross from around their necks. 99.9% of people watch the Olympics on TV anyway. We'll survive.

The Israeli model has seen an acceptance of the virus existing at a low rate amongst young people and specific groups, as the hospitals have largely emptied of serious cases. That's not a perfect solution, but we have been living with other viruses for centuries.

Politicially, banning foreign tourists from Japan (even ones that are vaccinated and test negative) for some time may generate more popularity than the economic boost of having them back. Japan may be one of the last countries to open up again to tourists. It may simply ban them permanently. They may want to get the Olympics over and then establish enough quarantine barriers to lock out tourists for the foreseeable future. Outbound tourism from Japan has always been relatively minimal compared to Western countries.

A tourist ban would be a vote killer in countries like the UK, where the primary reason to get a jab is to escape abroad for a week or two. But in Japan, closing the borders to tourism is likely to be a vote winner. I suspect that the majority of locals now consider foreign tourists to be a threat worth banning, whilst foreign ex-pats living in Japan seem to positively hate having foreign tourists there.

The idea of 'dangerous foreign strains' is something of a fraud. The virus can and does mutate anywhere. Strains are often tagged with the country that identifies them, but locking down your borders won't stop similar strains appearing domestically. The pharma companies are preparing booster shots that can cope with more divergency.

Countries like Thailand are likely to step into the gap created by a Japanese tourism ban, but the vaccine roll-out is unlikely to be globally adequate for this until Autumn 2021 or 2022.

We have lived and enjoyed holidays abroad for centuries, despite having potentially fatal viruses circulating. Many trips require a vaccination against specific diseases and always have. Permanent border blocks against Covid would not be a medical decision, but a political one.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If this is allowed, but non-Japanese are not allowed to to come from New York, then this would be see as counter to what the Olympics are meant to stand for.

This is true and the Olympics have been run counter to what the Olympics is meant to stand for a very long time. Corporations run the show and professional athletes have been allowed to participate for decades. Politics and protests have creeped into the games on and off and the payoff for the athletes is big money endorsements to the victors. The Olympic spirit is dead. The Olympics should take another hiatus until the world has changed sufficiently to be worthy of them again.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

IOC receives all of it's broadcast TV rights money (billions), but the Japanese tax payer will have to carry the burden of the costs to host the games? What idiot government official agreed to this deal? NO MORE TAX MONEY FOR THE OLYMPICS!

I don’t think a lot of people realize now that money and debt aren’t a consideration with modern economics. The money wasted to prop up these Olympics will not be paid back directly from the Japanese taxpayer. It is so large there is no way the existing debt will ever be repaid; the additional burden is minuscule by comparison. Living standards in Japan will continue to decline with no way out short of a catastrophe of epic proportions leading to a completely new governing system to reset the nations finances.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The virus can and does mutate anywhere. Strains are often tagged with the country that identifies them

I have found odd that it is acceptable to tag a strain with the country of origin but not the original form of the virus itself.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There is no proof that vaccinated people cannot spread the disease, and 99% of Japanese population is not vaccinated. So it's not disappointing at all.

It is so simple and easy to test and track arrivals on entry into Japan.

If fact, it is easy to test Japanese citizens now, at the thousands of hospitals all over Japan or even in a stand in a station or a shopping mall.

But there is a distinct refusal of the government to do this!

Instead, anyone wishing to know their status as a Covid carrier needs to find at least 20000 yen for a test.

Putting a small effort into allowing a limited number of tourists into Japan would be very simple...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Postponing would be very expensive for the tax payer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Olympic Charter (2017 version) states that nothing should be done to put the health of athletes at risk.

The Olympic organisers are currently selecting volunteers who will interact with those athletes, and do not require the volunteers to be vaccinated or tested.

Since there is a pandemic raging, and there is a vaccine , surely that is putting the athletes at unnecessary additional risk.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan has attributed fewer than 9,000 deaths to COVID-19 and has handled the pandemic better than most countries its size.

You really like this narrative don’t you?

Germany with almost half of the population of Japan tests 11 times more,so of course the numbers are lower here.

Why keep sustaining something that you can say only here,because back in Europe we don’t have a “Japanese model”.

Where there is freedom of press there is also the truth.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Get these Olympics done as quickly as possible and move on!

I'm so tired of hearing about that matter.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nothing special here...It’s just what a declared victory over the virus looks like. lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As usual, there is no discussion of science, only fear mongering.

Why no mention of large events in Japan since Summer with no spreading of virus? Same in the U.S. and other countries?

There is no proof that virus spikes in Japan were caused by foreigners. Safeguards appeared adequate.

Once vaccinated, chance of COVID hospitalization is zero. Vaccinate the most vulnerable.

It is the government’s obligation to do what’s prudent for Japan. The banning of foreign fans appears to provide political appeasement, but otherwise serves no prudent purpose.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Pretty much sums up the I OC.

As long as the cash comes to them, they don't give the slightest about the host country.

Plato would be turning in his grave in embarrassment

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Next step: cancel this edition of the Olympics and confirm the 2032 games in Tokyo.

No. Japan doesn't deserve another chance.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

My Advice to Athletes is, give this one a miss. Any Success you have will be poo-poo'd over this Pandemic and made insignificant. So save yourselves the risk and embarrassement.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The truth be told, it was never about the attendees. It was about the TV revenue from the broadcasters and advertisers.

One problem, will anyone watch the Olympics? Yes, but probably only the diehards which will be a fraction of the usual audience.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Cash is more important than the Care of Japanese Nationals and the Athletes.

A Super Spreader Event!!

Cancel The Games to Save Lives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One problem, will anyone watch the Olympics? Yes, but probably only the diehards which will be a fraction of the usual audience.

I am not a big fan of what the Olympics have become and do not revere the athletes as much as before the advent of the Dream Team and the full on professionalization of the marquee events. But given that their is a pandemic going on and not much else happening mid-Summer, the Summer Games will get the viewers they need to satisfy Coca-Cola, IBM, Toyota, etc. NBC and the world press will spin tear inducing stories about athletes whose parents, sister, brother and/or cousin were felled by covid and the absurdity of the modern incarnation of the “Olympic spirit” will be ignored as always. It’s the story, the narrative in modern propaganda terms, that is what matters. Throw in a little black lives matter, social justice talk and the mindless masses will eat it up like the kids watching new episodes of Kamen Rider.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With the 14 days quarantine for Foreign travelers, does the Olympics committee expect the overseas Volunteers to pay for additional 14 days hotels, food etc. on top of the time they have to spend for the Olympics? Tokyo just pays a very small amount for travel during the Olympics, nothing else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What still hasn't been answered yet is what happens to the guests of the Olympic Sponsors?

The last two news articles I've read on Olympic visitors seem to dance around the topic, with either no specific mention of them, or stating no decision has been made yet.

What's the bet that they are either waiting for the noise to die down before quietly allowing guests of sponsors . . . . . or suddenly guests of sponsors become classified as essential Olympic travelers?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bachi !

The Japanese define “Bachi” as causing one’s own bad luck. In this case it all started with the bribery to influence the voting to award Japan the Olympics this year. Then it was compounded by Abe deciding to post pone the Olympics to July rather than in the fall of this year. Then bureaucratic incompetence delayed the start of vaccinating the Japanese public which has still not happened in Japan. The British have vaccinated over 50% of their population. The Americans are well on their way To vaccinating the entire population in the next month and a half. If Japan had done the same the Olympics could have been held with all the foreign spectators present

It is time for old Japanese men to step aside and let women like the head of the Japanese Olympic committee and the governor of Tokyo take leading roles in decision making and leader ship

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What exactly is the economic benefit going to be from forcing the Olympics this year? Why is the concept of delaying so hard to accept?

At this point the there is no economic benefit at all of hosting the games. The pandemic has seen to that. The entire construction effort was dependent upon the games taking place last Summer and to shift those facilities to other uses thereafter. Well, that has been put on hold for a year already and the investments are losing huge amounts of money lest the federal government makes it up from the public till. The goal now for the Japanese government is to cut their loses.

The Japanese need to just get it over with and put the debacle behind them. Then think twice about making a bid for this boondoggle ever again.

Best to change the entire model from a country based system to a sporting venue one. The Olympics would be held all over the planet with a host city for every sporting event. The host country idea is outdated and not economically rational.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Olympig" might not be politically correct but this kind of attention is what this tarento is thriving on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Absolute waste of taxpayers money....

I hope that we never have to fund this over inflated circus ever again!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is no proof that vaccinated people cannot spread the disease

This is factually flat wrong because solid real data are showing that it is highly likely the case at least for AstraZeneca and Pfizer. The latter was verified based on data and preliminary studies in Israel which has the best dataset so far since it has vaccinated most of its population. So you should try way harder at getting proper informations instead of constructing your self-made fear mongering distorted reality field.

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3777268

https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2AJ08J

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What questions should that be? There’s only an answer, canceling that whole virus spreading mass event.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 GBR48Mar. 21  08:29 pm JST

"...foreign ex-pats living in Japan seem to positively hate having foreign tourists there."

Had to laugh when I read that. Not wrong though if we are all honest!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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