Naomi Osaka Photo: AP file
tokyo 2020 olympics

Naomi Osaka won't be required to talk to press at Tokyo Olympics

62 Comments

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

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

62 Comments
Login to comment

But, and here's the $6m question: Has she confirmed her attendance?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The International Olympic Committee said Friday it will not require Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who was fined for refusing to attend press conferences at this year's French Open, or any other athlete, to speak to the media at this summer's Tokyo Olympics.

I wonder whether she’ll take after-match questions from WOWOW, the Japanese broadcaster with which she is under contract (¥¥¥), like she did after her first-round French Open match in May?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

What is so difficult about taking questions?

7 ( +17 / -10 )

She can refuse to answer stupid questions, but she needs to be more powerful mentally.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

@Michael Machida, Is free will. Not everyone like press conference. If a person is not in the mood for it, nobody should force that person to do it. Because even if that person answer your question, it's probably not the answer that is from their heart. Why fake it then? Osaka is use to tweet her emotions. She doesn't like journalists.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

I like Naomi Osaka, but it doesn't seem fair to the other players who don't want to talk to the media.

Having said that, why should athletes be required to speak after an event at all? I really don't care what they have to say unless they feel a need to make some kind of a public statement for whatever reason. Otherwise, who cares?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

If you want sponsorship, you've got to put yourself out there. I think she'll start doing it again eventually

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Everything is going according to plan. If she medals, look for her to do an a highly controlled press conference ran through a Japanese's kisha club.

As for WOWOW, Osaka's group is already finalizing all the no-go questions and interviewers.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

wonder how many others will opt out of interviews.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another pathetic move from the Tokyo organisation and IOC to play the public. Kneeling for Osaka to come and play nut because they care anything about her but for more glory for the Holy Games

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Trevor

No, she has not confirmed her attendance, IMG has just said she is preparing and looking forward to it. She will be hoping the right excuse comes along for her to cancel. Higher virus case, more players to bow out, etc.

she does not want to come and if the mental issues are serious it would seem a very bad decision to go to a tournament where pressures and expectations are tge highest

3 ( +4 / -1 )

But, and here's the $6m question: Has she confirmed her attendance?

Yes, she confirmed she will have made a miraculous recovery from her mental health issues by the Olympics.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

If she's going to go around with names of BLM martyrs on her face mask and advertise her political stances, yet she can't handle answering some questions after a match about the sport in which she's making millions from then I find her weak and a hypocrite.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Doesn't matter to me. I am not going to watch any of the Olympics. I'm kind of disappointed that she, and all the other athletes, decided to bring more variants to Japan.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I thought that the Olympics was supposed to be for amateur's, not professional athletes.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

stormcrow

I like Naomi Osaka, but it doesn't seem fair to the other players who don't want to talk to the media.

From the article: "The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference."

So... ?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Asking for temporary accommodations for diagnosed depression, or even just for extreme stress, is a healthy thing to do and should be encouraged. There are times we all might want to be given a break for a little while. It's been a rough year.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

She’s only going to be asked the usual “did you miss Japanese food?” What was the first Japanese food you are coming back?! Did you use chopsticks!?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We have to stop this plague of 'snow flakiness' that is trying to infect and poison everything..

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Good. She has nothing of interest to say anyway.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Can other athletes also avoid talking to the press then? The good thing is that they won't have to spend money on hiring a translator.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Good for her for already changing the system! Ill be rooting for you Osaka! We support you :)

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

We support you :)

I don't. I won't be watching anyhow.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The press should oblige her and not take any phots, don't report her results and don't mention here at all. She's avoiding the press for another reason. You'll see soon.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The ioc showing their selfish ways again, they will do whatever they can to make sure she plays PRECISELY because of the MEDIA ATTENTION it WILL DRAW!!!!

Talk about hypocritical!!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Notice how fast the JOC makes decision when they want to? Otherwise it is always IOC to to make a decision and our hands are tied, shoganai etc...

Another example of different caste/class system in Japan (from my other post earlier)...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another thing, is she cannot do press how on earth can she be expected to play TENNIS!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese in general dont like openly expressing themselves or being around people they do not know and she is no exception and the world and its media should understand this and stop hassling her as fans dont care only want to see her play and perform

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Fine with me.

She's there to play tennis, not to talk. Let her tennis do the talking.

Good luck Naomi.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

YeahRightToday  08:53 am JST

Doesn't matter to me. I am not going to watch any of the Olympics. I'm kind of disappointed that she, and all the other athletes, decided to bring more variants to Japan.

She, along with most of the other athletes, will be vaccinated and tested regularly.

Can you say the same?

Sadly, if anything, she's more at risk of catching it from the unvaccinated public here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good. Just play tennis and keep personal beliefs to self or write a book in her own free time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

thetoleratedone...

Japanese in general dont like openly expressing themselves

She should be fine then.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If she talks to only WOWOW during the Olympics, all cards are off the table.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's not the interview issue, but I wonder if there is pressure on her to play simply to get another entry in the medal table for Japan. She is representing Japan here, something she doesn't do in the other tennis tournaments.

It is clear that some people are ambivalent about her or simply don't like her, but I'm sure some of the same people will care about Japan as a country getting a record medal haul. A lot of politicians pushing for the Games want lots of medals, and Naomi Osaka on a hard court is one of Japan's best hopefuls for an entry in the Golds column.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I thought that the Olympics was supposed to be for amateur's, not professional athletes.

I totally agree. Even as a Canadian, I couldn't have cared less about having NHL stars playing in the Olympics, or the USA having its "Dream Team". These athletes are already millionaires and they don't need more attention. I'd rather watch a nobody or a team of nobodies become stars, same goes with tennis players.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Osaka later revealed she has struggled with depression and withdrew from the tournament. 

She's 23. She's a millionaire. She plays sports all day.

Yes, I can see how that can be depressing...............

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I understand how she can be depressed as I am married. Good luck at the Olympics Naomi Osaka! I may watch in mute because I can't stand the Japanese broadcasters.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Her American nationality? Is she a US citizen? I know she grew up there but didn’t know she was a citizen.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Could this whole Naomi Osaka, I came , I participated, I waved my racket, I gave the press a diva huff puff, to end all dive huff puffs, I stamped my feet, I threw my toys all over the court then gave them all a well deserved forehand followed a jolly good backhand.

Will the real Naomi Osaka ever again take a step forward, from behind a PR marketing political smoke screen?

24 Hours With Naomi Osaka | Vogue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAwewq-2I28

Is this the real Naomi Osaka? .........

I don't sense a women in the depths of life struggles. Do you?

Maybe Naomi hides it well.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I want to like her. I really do!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Is she even able to have an interview in the sole language of the country she represents and where she was born? "Watashi wa Naomi Osaka desu. Ijou desu." Thunderous applause to "Banzai!!"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Then from now on don't even report any news of her, please.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Or is this the contemporary Naomi Osaka, polished carefully stage managed relationship with public and media.

The Life of Naomi Osaka

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg1sZbJMiUE

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Love the smerk on that face of hers in that pic ROFL

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

TheRedsToday  05:49 pm JST

Then from now on don't even report any news of her, please.

Not easily done when she's one of the best players in the world.

Mind you, I wanted the same for Manchester United in the 1990's so I can relate. I grew out of that phase though.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Good. Let her play tennis, and let the reporters do their job without bothering her.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Poor baby! I bet if WOWOW offers her additional money for an interview her insecurity and fears will suddenly dry up.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If she doesn't want to, then she shouldn't have to, the entire sensationalism is helping her career actually and everyone is falling for the bait, just Google her name and look at the hits: 7,410,000 on this topic as of now pretty impressive, and the msm don't realize they are helping her, this woman is NOT dumb and she knows what is happening and if she can string this out and get more clicks, she will do it and milk it and tbh, the woman is actually more impressive and smarter than I thought originally. I don't blame her, she should use this opportunity to cash in.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Smithinjapan,

My dad gave me a lecture, hangouts, on Alan Ball,

Ball was the best footballer in the given universe, Dad has ever seen, Ball allegedly drank like a fish

Also stating strong foot with a firm hand that Naomi is the epitome of beauty and grace on a tennis court.

Naomi according to Dad has a strong conviction to American political psyche.

I asked Mother to have look closely at his diet, there could is a malfunction upstairs.

First and foremost Naomi Osaka is not a Politician.

Naomi Osaka has strayed from hitting that ball over the net.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There's some paradox here. She's Japanese but doesn't speak the language and hasn't lived here. Maybe she's rightly American in terms of what culture she's from; she's lived in the U.S. all her life. She criticizes the U.S., as is her right, on the issue of racism and is considered an activist. Her family suffered deeply from Japanese racism but she never criticizes Japan at all. Her success in Japan is monetary; she makes a fortune from Japanese companies. Maybe she has not once criticized racism in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I like Naomi Osaka, but it doesn't seem fair to the other players who don't want to talk to the media.

From the article: "The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference,"

Osaka isn't getting any special treatment that other athletes aren't entitled to.

Having said that, why should athletes be required to speak after an event at all?

See above.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you want sponsorship, you've got to put yourself out there. I think she'll start doing it again eventually

Or she won't. She's loaded, it's not like she needs the sponsorship. If she wants to play the sport more than the money matters, she may never start doing press conferences again, while still playing for the viewers' enjoyment.

Which should be what matters over sponsorships and press conferences.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another pathetic move from the Tokyo organisation and IOC to play the public.

Um, by pointing out that she's not bound to a rule they've never had?:

From the article: "The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference,"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good for her for already changing the system!

In this case, she didn't. From the article: "The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference,"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She's Japanese but doesn't speak the language and hasn't lived here.

She was born here, and has lived here. And how do you know she does not own a residence here?

Maybe she has not once criticized racism in Japan.

Or maybe she has. Try fact-checking yourself.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

stickman1760June 19  05:16 pm JST

Her American nationality? Is she a US citizen? I know she grew up there but didn’t know she was a citizen.

Interesting. Not a single US green card for permanent residence was issued to any Haitian citizen from year 1999 onwards. I wonder how the parents got to the US. I'm sure they didn't overstay a tourist visa, right? They would never do that...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

She's out there to play, nothing more. She's not obligated to answer any stupid questions to some Geraldo-type look-a-me reporter. She doesn't owe anything to those people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Strangerland

point taken. She’s mentioned it a bit in interviews. But she doesn’t speak up loudly about when, arguably, it’s very apparent in her experience. As for her country, yes, she can be whatever she likes since she’s rich and famous. Japan will take her as Japanese because of that. My only point is that she could do a lot of good in speaking up about Japan the way she speaks about the U.S. - especially considering how awfully she’s been treated in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan will take her as Japanese because of that.

Japan takes her as Japanese because she was born in Japan to a Japanese citizen, with all the rights and responsibilities of any Japanese citizen.

They literally don't have a choice but to 'take' her, as she's one of them, and they have no mechanism to get rid of her if they even wanted to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

She can do what she wants. Say what she wants. But her past actions and rather dumb words have little to no credibility to many.

Stay silent, please, Naomi, or learn to think and communicate better. She's obviously not very smart. She's a bore who thinks she has a voice when she wants to be a crusader and clams up when she wants to be a mouse.

Can't have it both ways, but she obviously doesn't have a clue about that. If she has mental health problems, maybe she should address them before swimming in her own soup. The media is an excuse for what she sows.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's impressive to try to figure out how many commenters didn't read the article, or how many just didn't understand it.

"The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference,"

[The IOC] will not require Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka [...] or any other athlete, to speak to the media

(emphasis mine)

 Osaka's agency announced that the 23-year-old [...] would represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.

I understand how many people misinterpreted the headline as implying special treatment for her, but that's not substantiated by the rest of the article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan

Poor baby! I bet if WOWOW offers her additional money for an interview her insecurity and fears will suddenly dry up.

You do realise there's a very big difference for someone with anxiety between the after match presser, and an interview with a single group, who also has your best interests at heart... ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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