Olympics games taking place despite medical warnings?

Tokyo: Despite widespread support for the Tokyo Olympics Games and Paralympics, public opinion in Japan has been overwhelmingly negative, partially due to fears that the coronavirus may spread as a result of the over 100,000 persons who will participate in both events.

The majority of the Japanese medical community is opposed to it. In a statement, Dr. Shigeru Omi, the government’s chief medical adviser, said that holding the Tokyo Olympics Games during a pandemic is “inappropriate.” So yet, only 5 percent of Japanese people have received a complete vaccination regimen.
The medical magazine The Lancet has expressed concerns about the potential health dangers and chastised the World Health Organization and other health organisations for failing to take a strong stance on the issue. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the International Olympic Committee’s decision to proceed is “not supported by the best scientific data.”

The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-largest selling newspaper, has urged for the Tokyo Olympics games to be postponed until after the Tokyo Games. Other regional newspapers have followed suit.
Nonetheless, they are moving forward. How has the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga been able to overcome such considerable resistance?
The Contract with the Host City is the heart of the matter, as it grants the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the exclusive ability to cancel. If Japan withdraws from the Tokyo Olympics Games, it will be required to compensate the International Olympic Committee. Of course, the International Olympic Committee is unlikely to sue a host city. As a result, any agreement would be reached behind closed doors.

And there are billions of dollars on the line. Japan has officially spent $15.4 billion, but government audits indicate that it has spent twice that much. More than $3 billion has been raised from local sponsors by the Japanese advertising behemoth Dentsu Inc., which was instrumental in winning the corruption-tainted bid for the Tokyo Olympics Games in 2013.

According to estimates, a cancellation would cost the International Olympic Committee between $3 billion and $4 billion in missed broadcast rights money. Broadcast money and sponsorships account for 91 percent of the IOC’s revenue, with the American network NBCUniversal accounting for approximately 40 percent of the organization’s overall revenue.
Fans from other countries have already been barred from attending Olympic events, and a decision on whether or not local fans would be allowed to attend might be made as soon as next week.

Fans from other countries have already been barred from attending Olympic events, and a decision on whether or not local fans would be allowed to attend might be made as soon as next week.

Tokyo olympics 2021

With the Olympics scheduled to begin on July 23 and perspectives about Tokyo Olympics games from both inside and beyond Japan, this article presents a variety of perspectives.

  • The situation is analogous to that of a gambler who has already lost too much money. Pulling out of it now will just serve to reinforce the massive losses you’ve already suffered, but by continuing, you can maintain the dream of winning large and reclaiming everything you’ve lost. It is true that even if Suga decides to cancel at the last minute, public opinion is unlikely to be supportive of his decision. He might as well take a chance and hope for the best by going ahead and doing it, rather than hesitating. The fact that he has the ability to claim the games as a success simply by participating increases the likelihood that he will succeed, and flooding the media with images of pride and glory may help him reverse  the tide of public opinion in his favour.”

Koichi Nakano, political scientist, Sophia University

  • “The International Olympic Committee possesses a strong brand. Athletes from all around the world coming together to compete in a peaceful environment is a heart-wrenching attraction. It takes an entertainment event and infuses it with a certain level of devotion and wonder, transforming it into a religious experience. Who is opposed to the establishment of peace? With the goal of achieving “Olympism,” it has attracted the attention of corporate sponsors willing to spend a lot of money. As a result, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the power to negotiate contract terms that are extremely favourable to it, as it has done in this instance. That only the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the authority to formally terminate the games — even in the case of unanticipated health crises — is evidence of this.”

Mark Conrad, lawyer, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University

  • “The contract with the host city transfers complete control to the International Olympic Committee. The Olympic industry has had more than 120 years to win hearts and minds around the world, and it has done so with resounding success. In the age of the internet, their public relations department manages the message and protects the brand around the clock. In addition, the International Olympic Committee is beyond the reach of any oversight agency, including the governments of host countries. It has the potential to breach a country’s human rights safeguards by granting immunity, including the right of athletes to access domestic courts of law.

Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, sociologist, author “The Olympic Games: A Critical Approach”

  • In my opinion, people within the administration have been given their orders to ensure that the games take place, and that is their sole focus at the moment — for better or worse.” There is a hope that they will be able to go through the games with as few mistakes as possible. Politicians may well be aware of the danger they are putting themselves in, but they believe that once the games begin, the Japanese public would continue “for the good of Japan” and forget about how they got to where they are now.”

Aki Tonami, political scientist, University of Tsukuba

  • “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is an exclusive organisation that garners support from other elites as well as people — and countries — who aspire to become members of the elite. From a sporting standpoint, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) serves as the custodian of the exclusive medals that athletes from a variety of sports strive for, as well as the chief promoter of the mythology of the healing power of sport, and as the organisation on which the majority of international sports federations and national Olympic committees rely for financial support.”

John Horne, sociologist, Waseda Univeristy, author with Garry Whannel of “Understanding the Olympics”

  • “Because the opposition is so weak politically, the government can get away with pretty much anything it wants. Despite the fact that a terrible Olympics would undermine the LDP’s credibility, the party is likely to feel secure because the majority of the public has doubts about the opposition’s ability to rule. It’s possible that the administration is expecting that once the games begin, public sentiment will change. At the very least, it will create a distraction, and at the very worst,  it may result in a rally around the flag effect.”

Gill Steel, political scientist, Doshisha University

  • “You note how there appears to be no one in charge. It is necessary to mention all of the different entities involved: the Tokyo organising committee, the Japanese Olympic Committee, the Prime Minister’s office, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, the Japan Sports Agency, the Foreign Ministry, as well as the Ministries of Education and Culture as well as the Ministries of Sports, Science and Technology and Technology. Suga is questioned in the Diet about the cancellation of the games, and he responds that he has no involvement in the matter. Nobody likes to seem bad in front of their peers. The similar thing happened in the run-up to the 1964 Olympics. According to the Japanese government, it wasn’t until February 11, 1963 — more than 600 days before the opening ceremony — that the country finally chose a candidate to serve as president of its local organising committee.”

Robert Whiting, author of several books on Japan including the latest “Tokyo Junkie”

  • A lot of the opposition is shallow and moveable, though of course this is dependent on the Olympics actually going forward. Many people (broadcasters, etc.) will be engaged in making it appear like a successful show, so I believe they will have the wind at their backs if there is no significant increase in COVID deaths or any heat-related disasters among the athletes.”

David Leheny, political scientist, Waseda University

  • “If it turns out that there is a spike in coronavirus patients and it turns into a tragedy, the International Olympic Committee is not responsible. It is the Japanese government that will be saddled with the burden of accountability.”

Ryu Homma, author, former advertising agency executive


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