International Olympic Committee representatives, including President Thomas Bach and Vice President John Coates meet with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: (Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP
tokyo 2020 olympics

Emperor tells Bach holding Olympics amid pandemic 'not easy'

39 Comments

Emperor Naruhito told International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach during their meeting on Thursday that it is "a far from easy task" to hold the games while taking full measures against COVID-19.

During the meeting at the Imperial Palace, Bach, visiting Tokyo for the Olympics, promised to the emperor that maximum efforts would be made to prevent risks to the people of Japan.

"Under such circumstances, the managing of the games, while at the same time taking all possible measures against COVID-19, is a far from easy task," the emperor said in English.

"I would like to pay tribute to all those who have been involved in the management of the games for their efforts at various venues," he said.

The meeting was held without drinks or food and social distancing was maintained as part of anti-virus steps.

The emperor, who serves as the honorary patron of the Olympics and Paralympics, is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony on Friday.

Tokyo is battling with surging coronavirus cases ahead of the Olympics, already postponed by one year from the summer of 2020. No spectators, overseas or domestic, will be permitted at venues in the Japanese capital.

On Friday, the emperor is scheduled to meet with U.S. first lady Jill Biden at the Imperial Palace.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
Login to comment

if it’s not easy why didn’t you cancel it?

2 ( +22 / -20 )

Wish he had said “not necessary”.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

Emperor tells Bach holding Olympics amid pandemic 'not easy'

Aaaaw boohoo, poor little corrupt greedy CIO leader :'(

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Not easy, is that muzukashii that can be interpreted sometimes as impossible.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

The emperor is clearly against holding the Olympics amid the pandemic. But since he has no political power, “not easy” was all he could say to the IOC chief.

31 ( +34 / -3 )

That’s some good social distancing right there.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Bottakuri Danshaku and his fellow Lords of the Rings are just glorified event producers and marketing managers - they have one job every two years!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

enolagayToday  05:45 pm JST

if it’s not easy why didn’t you cancel it?

Because the Emperor hasn't had that kind of power since 1945.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

"It is not easy to organize the Games while implementing full anti-infection measures. I express my deep respect for your efforts," the emperor told Bach.

Click-bait title. Just when you think he thought he disapproved of the Games, he actually said he respected their work.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Yeah, the statement was quite complimentary.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

This is as close as the Emperor can get to saying "Thanks for forcing this freak show upon us." His wife not attending is also a veiled slight at the IOC.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

if it’s not easy why didn’t you cancel it?

Because the Emperor hasn't had that kind of power since 1945

Ossan is right on this one ....this is about as clear indication of his thinking the Emperor can send.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Well obviously!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm going on the assumption that the Emperor (who seems like a genuinely decent man) is much like the Queen of England, in that when he says something which could be construed as negative, he's actually understating it by a very significant amount.

In other words, when he says "far from easy", he really means "essentially impossible", but he can't say that for reasons of protocol.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japan is taking a huge risk holding these games, it is a gamble that could actually cost many lives.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The Emperor was simply being polite. Bach should be smart enough to read between the lines.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The Emperor was simply being polite. Bach should be smart enough to read between the lines.

That would assume Bach has the capacity to conceive that he could ever be wrong about something. I suspect that this capacity is highly limited in him, if it is present at all.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Bach should be smart enough to read between the lines.

Only reads numbers, bank statements, invoices, receipts.

He is only concerned with gold, silver, etc., money, not medals!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Wow! Really? Even my elementary school kids can see that. (He is a genius. I’ll give him that. (Sarcasm))

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Michael O’ Dereiter

That would assume Bach has the capacity to conceive that he could ever be wrong about something. I suspect that this capacity is highly limited in him, if it is present at all.

Bach is absolutely no dummy. He just does not give AF.

As long as those $$$ keep rolling in.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The Emperor meeting with BACH Bark is only because he is a high figure head representing Japan and its people. As you can see from the social distancing it is very clear that the emperor is sending Bach Bark a clear message and that is. I am standing as far away from you more than what the required minimum distance is and what the people of japan is doing staying away. I don't agree with the games. I wouldn't be surprised if he could turn with his back to Bach Bark the emperor would have. Again he is only there for the people of Japan and a big indication is his wife is not there meaning, most families like the emperors don't agree. Hurry up and leave and get this night mare out of the country.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

How come Hashimoto is at the back all by herself?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She’s waiting to get tea for the men @Tora 9:22pm:

“How come Hashimoto is at the back all by herself?” -

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Emperor probably signalled he was planning to watch the opening ceremony from home, whereupon Barfch set him straight with 'you're not staying behind and hiding in your palace, ahright?' as these IOC thugs do. Being raised in a world of protocol, the Emperor knew just how to say weave something ambiguous enough like 'it's difficult' into his speech, that could be read in different ways, and left the rest up to the interpreters.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Correction! @Tora 9:22pm- She’s waiting to make a run to the kombini for Calpis if some of these overweight, elder statesmen get heatstroke.

“The meeting was held without drinks or food and social distancing was maintained as part of anti-virus steps.” -

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They certainly have skills for making rooms kinda tastless here. Who tossed my granny's old mat in the corner back there?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That is a very, sad-looking Emperor. (No one listened to him and Suga denied His ‘words’.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Emperor probably signalled he was planning to watch the opening ceremony from home, whereupon Barfch set him straight with 'you're not staying behind and hiding in your palace, ahright?'

Ha, yeah. Did you catch Coatesy giving Annastacia Palaszczuk a manly serve about not hiding in her room? Dick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thanks for demonstrating your strong support for the Tokyo Olympics Emperor Naruhito.

The people of Japan are very thankful.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Cheap comment in the obvious and classic prose that the japanese always play the victim on the international politicsl stage all the while they so very much wanted to have the olympics at any cost. Utterly shameless.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That's an indication of displeasure from the Emperor of Japan... not that he has any power in these times, but never-the-less, a slap over the Political wrists of those in Rule, and should be noted....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

chotto muzukashi... Wow! If he'd said that a month ago it would have been a big no-go

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The emperor is absolutely right, but nothing is going to stop the Olympic games, even if it were not in Japan, no country would cancel them, haters can bark whatever they want, Olympics will go on..

This is how the world works, get over it..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What a gawd-awful room to be meeting the Emperor in. Did they rent out a hotel lobby that forgot to furnish after an over-priced wedding or something?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks like a sad man confronted by other sad men and the woman Hashimoto shooed away to the side.

Sad faces, sullen Olympics faces in a clown world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“....this is about as clear indication of his thinking the Emperor can send.”

What is the point of being/having an Emperor if he cannot even say what he thinks?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Under such circumstances, the managing of the games, while at the same time taking all possible measures against COVID-19, is a far from easy task," the emperor said in English.

Unfortunately, the Japanese government is 100% to blame for this difficulty…

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It sure is a bug risk for Japan to go in with the games with any spectator and multitude (5-6 times more than the number of athletes participating) go inside Japan while in the midst of the pandemic.

Hopefully the Olympics stay AWAY from getting politicized as well. There is enough politics and pandemic in the world to deal with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Athletes have been practicing for years. Hosts Japan has not let them down. Hats off to Emperor Naruhito and the people of Japan, for their incredible efforts in hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. All the best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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