Two men walk past the National Stadium in Tokyo, where the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games will take place on July 23. Photo: AP/file
tokyo 2020 olympics

Tokyo state of emergency does not affect Games: IOC

65 Comments
By Karolos Grohmann

A potential state of emergency that could be imposed on Tokyo is unrelated to Olympic Games preparations and is part of the government's plan to curb infections during Japan's holiday week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.

Japan's government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka, local media reported, a move that would enable prefectural authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections spreading.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is preparing to request an emergency period be declared from April 29 to May 9, encompassing Japan’s annual "Golden Week" holiday period, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

"We were informed there might be another state of emergency declared in Tokyo," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "We understand that this would be a proactive measure for the 'Golden Week' holiday with which the government is aiming to prevent the spread of infection.

"This measure would be in line with the very diligent approach we see taken by Japanese authorities," he said following an IOC Executive Board meeting and a report from the Tokyo Games organizers.

With thousands of new cases resulting from highly infectious strains of the virus, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said the government wants to decide this week whether to declare the state of emergency for major parts of the country.

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed by a year in 2020 and the IOC has said there are no plans to cancel or postpone them again, with the Games now less than 100 days away.

"This (state of emergency) is absolutely in line with the overall policy of the government but it is not related to the Olympic Games," Bach said. "It is related to the Golden Week."

Japan has so far avoided the rapid spread of the pandemic which has plagued many Western countries, with total cases at about 540,000 and a death toll of just under 10,000.

The latest rise in infections has stoked alarm, however, coming just months before the start of the Olympics and amid a sluggish vaccination rollout.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

65 Comments
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Oh now I have Mr Bach telling me what its about??? Its about Golden Week is it now?

Obviously its about distractions and getting business done for him.

The SOE is and should be happening to save lives.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

Potential Tokyo state of emergency does not affect Games: IOC

Potential Tokyo state of emergency does not affect the IOC's pockets being filled with money.

"This measure would be in line with the very diligent approach we see taken by Japanese authorities," he said following an IOC Executive Board meeting and a report from the Tokyo Games organizers.

What very diligent approach is this man speaking of?

29 ( +34 / -5 )

Just goes to prove the Olympics are so disenfranchised from the public even in a pandemic situation they don’t need the public involved at all. Just their money.

40 ( +41 / -1 )

Sure, sure. No, of course it won't affect your precious Olympics, just everyone's lives and livelihoods.

Get off it, nobdy believes this Covid nonsense anymore.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

Potential Tokyo state of emergency does not affect Games: IOC

Of course, not. How would anyone even think such a thing? It should not even require mentioning.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

proactive measure

I've heard this man speak, can barely understand him, so I realize his first language is not English, but I really don't think he knows the meaning of the word "proactive."

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Desperation or what saying that? If the big name countries say they're not going then it's all over anyway.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

This just has to stop. The situation is actually way worse now than it was last year when they postponed the games. Not only are there more infections, But also there are so many variants of this disease circulating in different parts of the world. Inviting tens of thousands of people from all the countries in the world to mingle together for two weeks, and let whatever variants that come with them mingle too, then go back to their countries seems like a great way to spread those variants way more.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

It’s all about Golden Week now. I had plans but my job “threatened” consequences if I cross prefectural borders.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Potential state of emergency

Boy that sounds serious

15 ( +16 / -1 )

This guy is all about himself, Japan hasn't got this under control, the Olympics is going to be a test of who doesn't catch Covid wins, nothing more.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Whenever I hear this guy speak it sounds like he has more control over Japan's covid response than the government does.

Why do they keep dancing to his tune? The IOC stand to lose billions in broadcasting rights, but Japan has lost almost all benefits the Olympics could have brought.

What else do they have to lose but face and fines? It's preposterous that a silly sports contest has a country's covid response in such a headlock.

32 ( +33 / -1 )

Heads in sand and no intention of pulling it out to look around.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

They don't care if the entire population is infected - the games must be held.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

where's all the much-vaunted earth-friendly greenery on the stadium?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

But it should.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Olympics would be held over the state of emergency. If restaurants, shops, sightseeing areas would be closed all over in town/city, who wants to go there?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Heads in sand and no intention of pulling it out to look around.

Oh their heads are buried SOMEWHERE. But I can't say where or my comment will be deleted.

This measure would be in line with the very diligent approach we see taken by Japanese authorities," he said following an IOC Executive Board meeting and a report from the Tokyo Games organizers.

It would appear Bach is talking out of where the heads are buried. In the Bachside

20 ( +21 / -1 )

from his Bachside, sorry

14 ( +15 / -1 )

What a disconnect from reality.

I'll wager this time next month ... cancelled.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Take out the economic profit made from the games and see how long the supposed purpose is enough to hold them. The priorities on this are not justified, control the spreading first, then say something about the games.

26 ( +26 / -0 )

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is preparing to request an emergency period be declared from April 29 to May 9,

A one-and-a-half-week state of emergency isn't going to do anything. If it did, why not let people stay at home from work rather than just ruin the only week off in the whole year most of us get? We already have to risk infection on cramped commuter trains.

This is just a way to appease the IOC without making any sacrifices other than public health and well-being.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

One truthful thing Bach said was it is about GW. It's no coincidence the Jgov let the figures rise in the lead up to GW, it's all carefully fiddled.

Continue working, but don't enjoy your free time.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

I wonder how many countries will decide to opt out of the Olympics again this year? It's sad that athletes have been training for this all of their lives, but I just don't feel Japan is capable of providing a safe venue. And if some countries do not send athletes to compete, can you really say that you were the best of the best? It's a terrible time and I feel for the competitors. But it would be better to postpone the Olympics at least one more year.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Irresponsible IOC.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

MocheakeToday 07:44 am JST

They don't care if the entire population is infected - the games must be held.

The IOC is not responsible for health and safety in the host city during the Olympics. That is the sole responsibility of the LOC, the host city and the government of the host nation.

Also, the IOC have been paid already so they won't lose any money from another Olympic cancellation. That's all on Tokyo and Japan.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Say NO to this petri-dish event.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

state of emergency does not affect useless Olympic Games bribes

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Just my experience: I gave blood on Tuesday for the first time since Covid reared it's ugly head and asked the older doctor who was talking with me while I waited if he thought the Olympics would be held and he said absolutely not.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Bach: "Show me the MONEY!"

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Is this guy gonna have a 'welcoming' committee waiting at the airport when he arrives in Japan? He sure deserves one....

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Going to be hilarious when everyone ignores the warnings over GW and cases continue to rise, to see the government's usual reaction of, "We don't understand it! We asked people to cooperate. Yes, that's true, I was caught out myself with others drinking past the designated time and without a mask, which is regrettable, and I will do an internal investigation, but don't these selfish young people understand they are endangering the Games -- I mean, lives?"

18 ( +18 / -0 )

So the IOC dictates Japanese COVID policy. SOE in Tokyo will be tailored to finish just in time for Bach’ visit. The question is will Koike and gang be able to keep testing low enough and play the figures so they flow their way.

The IOC seems to hold sway on the world media too as all I see is Olympic preparation and all is good to go. Barely mention of rising cases in Japan or the total lack of support by the majority of the people or cancellations to the relay. Absolutely nothing about the extreme low testing and lack of measures against the virus in Japan. The world media seems afraid to say a bad word about the games. I guess they are I. It with the IOC.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It really is disgusting the complete lack of concern for the well-being of the population of Tokyo.

IOC. Ima Okane Chodai

9 ( +9 / -0 )

lol. It's not an "Emergency"! Rather, it's just an "Emergence...see?"

So we're seeing an appearance...er, an Emergence, of a situation of higher infections, and spreading throughout a country utterly lacking even the rudiments of response necessary to stem its expansion. That's OK, no reason at all not to bring thousands upon thousands of new people from all over the world into the mix...as long as they "test" negative before and during.

As for the un-innoculated masses of Japanese in the stands and on the streets, participating in this "Emergence...see?" farce? Meh...That's of little consequence when compared to the CA$H that the Japanese government and the IOC is desperate to earn!

Stick a fork in this "2020" Olympics....it's done.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Maybe if we, all together, give the coronavirus a big, happy smile, it will go away and Tokyo will have a successful Olympics.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Someone should declare a "state of emergency" the next time that megalomaniac opens his mouth.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A potential state of emergency that could be imposed on Tokyo is unrelated to Olympic Games preparations and is part of the government's plan to curb infections during Japan's holiday week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is preparing to request an emergency period be declared from April 29 to May 9, encompassing Japan’s annual "Golden Week" holiday period, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

It is all too clear for anyone with a functioning brain to see that the short SOE request by Koike is due to Bach visit to Japan on May 17, and what will happen like in previous SOE, tests will be further reduced and the useless mainstream media will be parroting how the SOE was a resounding success. From the onset of this pandemic till date there hasn't been any intention to mitigate the spread of this virus. It has all been about comparing with other countries and feeling unique and good.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"This measure would be in line with the very diligent approach we see taken by Japanese authorities," he said following an IOC Executive Board meeting "

Stop the jokes Herr Bach.."diligent approach "..rofl...you are hillarious.

It would appear Bach is talking out of where the heads are buried. In the Bachside" Right on Aly.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"This (state of emergency) is absolutely in line with the overall policy of the government but it is not related to the Olympic Games," Bach said. "It is related to the Golden Week."

Man this bach & the IOC are simply EVIL personified!

Sure he KNOWS that virtually every Japanese working at these games would be UN-vaccinated.....hence there is NO BUBBLE possible!!

Disgusting beyond belief

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This measure would be in line with the very diligent approach we see taken by Japanese authorities," he said following an IOC Executive Board meeting and a report from the Tokyo Games organizers.

Diligent, I guess he thinks the "Goto Campaign" or ultra low testing by this authorities he is praising are diligent measures. How disconnected and greedy can this man be, he doesn't care about the well being of people at all but just money.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A lot of Japanese media is reporting it’ll be 3 weeks from April 25 or 26, not just for Golden Week.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A potential state of emergency that could be imposed on Tokyo is unrelated to Olympic Games preparations"

Of course it is unrelated, we all know the virus doesn't affect the Olympics as it only works at bars and restaurants after 8pm , just as it was ordered to by Japanese authorities.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Well seeing as Japan is on the list of countries that USA citizens are advised NOT to travel to, published last week, we can only hope to expect that the USA Olympic Teams won’t turn up. If they cancel, it’s game over.

Seems like everyone’s playing a game of chicken, expecting everyone else to cancel 1st.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Seems like everyone’s playing a game of chicken, expecting everyone else to cancel 1st.

I think China might be the first, for a myriad of reasons. One being that they probably starting to see that even the 2022 Beijing Olympics is in danger because of COVID. If they pull out, of course Japan will immediately pull out of Beijing 2022, but it seems pretty unlikely that Beijing 2022 will also be difficult.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The games will go on as planned and no athletes will show up. Should be an interesting Olympics.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yeah it will be a wonderful Olympics to remember. No spectators and no competitors. Still, the LDP will be happy, they will have held their accursed Olympics!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I can hear the desperation in these declarations, it is very clear a lot of decisions this year were wrong and Japan is paying the consequences.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Boycott the Limp Picks and boycott any sponsors, make your dislike be heard through your wallets and pockets.

Turn off the TV when the games are on too.

These self interested leaders , heads and athletes do not deserve the attention they are so badly seeking.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Could someone with the most virulent form of Covid please go give Mr. Bach a big wet kiss!

Perhaps if he is directly affected he will wakeup to reality.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What clowns. Waiting for the circus to begin.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

No spectators and no competitors. Still, the LDP will be happy, they will have held their accursed Olympics!"

Indeed....seems like LDP wants to have the games at any cost, both for their cronies benefit as well as having something to boast about at election time. Sure hope people will remember this farce at the ballot box and vote these incompetents out ( or at least sizeably reduce their majority since TIJ ).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Essentially, there is an overarching and not-so-hidden agenda to bring the Olympic Games to Tokyo. The utterances of government officials and the IOC, almost borders on propaganda, ignoring the ever present reality of SARSCoV-2. The mishandling of the response by government and corporate entities producing the vaccines & medical supplies, to be kind, is less than adequate.

Still, ignoring fact & basic reality, leaders enshrined within the state and commanding large government enterprises have failed to purposefully dedicate the substantial resources of the state to eradicating the pandemic. Instead they are focused on the monies spent to bring and hold the Olympics.

This is incredibly evident in the article posted. The rise in the numbers of infection within the two largest urban/metropolitan areas, where the bulk of the population resides, less than a hundred days from the onset of the Olympic Games, is cause for concern, as Golden Week approaches and is not wedded to The Games. Such nonsense uttered by powerful individuals is an indication of a very specific form of mental illness, let alone that those individuals are essentially fabricating lies to justify what is a business proposition, the billions spent on an absurd spectacle during a pandemic.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

“Potential Tokyo state of emergency”

Waste of time. The horse has already bolted

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Generally speaking, it’s the usual conflict between life of the normal people and monetary upper class interests. And according to old books we know already, that they don’t hesitate to walk over corpses when smelling big profits. I am surely not a fan of such theories, in contrary, but in cases like this, they admittedly and obviously prove true.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Today’s Australian news- no political comment by Olympic athletes agreed by majority of athletes ( from China and Russia ) , difficult matches for the Matildas after the draw, Bach mouthing some rubbish about safety. New uniforms was a few days ago, Not a word about the rise of cases in Japan. Not a word about State of Emergencies or abysmal low testing in Japan. It seems according to Australia all is going ahead as if there is no pandemic in the world, (although returning athletes will not be exempted the mandatory quarantine on return that is for sure)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"This measure would be in line with the very diligent approach we see taken by Japanese authorities," he said following an IOC Executive Board meeting and a report from the Tokyo Games organizers.

How is it they're seeing something we're not? Things must look very different from afar...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Why continue to push this agenda during a pandemic?

Motivation is GREED by IOC (those advertising $$$$) and maybe a bit of stubbornness by Japan.

The situation in Japan is worse than 1 year ago and the authorities have learned and done very little.

Oh yeah...and where are those vaccines?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just one comment:

Yeah, sure, whatever you (those responsible for the games) say!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"...sluggish vaccination rollout"

Sluggish seems to sound too fast. How about glacial?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Inviting tens of thousands of people from all the countries in the world to mingle together for two weeks"

Seemed you missed the news about no foreign fans

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The IOC is putting on a brave face.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Brave? I’d go with foolish or naive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IN OTHER WORDS! JAPAN you still have a bill to pay we don't care if your people suffer the games must go on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Call them off until next year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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