The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan were forced to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to 2021 due to COVID-19.
Japan was very keen with proceeding with the Tokyo Olympics at the start of this year as Japan could lose billions of dollars if the Olympics do not take place.
The 2021 Olympics is scheduled to start on 23 July and run till 08 August. In the first quarter of 2021, Japan was optimistic that the COVID-19 situation would be brought under control with the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines.
In recent weeks though, Japan’s optimism has dimmed as the world continues to battle with different strains of COVID.
Japan had earlier announced that it would not be accepting tourists into the country and the Olympics would take place in empty stadiums with just coaches and a restricted amount of VIP guests. This decision was made to keep the athletes safe and prevent the spread of COVID.
However, Japan has now decided to entertain the possibility of having to cancel the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as the country is batting yet another rise in COVID-19 cases. There are talks that Japan could soon enter a 4th lockdown and if this happens, it is quite possible that Japan will pull the trigger and cancel the Olympics for 2021. Whether Japan will cancel the Olympics or postpone it to 2021 remains to be seen.
Japan has now crossed over half a million COVID-19 cases and a number of prefectures have imposed new restrictions to limit public gatherings. Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai, who is one of the top politicians in Japan said that the country is now seriously considering cancelling the Tokyo Olympics.
Japanese Public Changing Opinion On Olympics
Japan has invested billions to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics and the Japanese people were very keen to see world class athletes from all over the world perform live. Prime Minster Yoshihide Suga promised the Japanese people that he would do everything within his power to stage the Olympics but he might have to back down on that promise.
A Japanese news outlet who carried out a survey on whether the Tokyo Olympics should be conducted this year said that public opinion is slowly changing in light of the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The survey showed that nearly 40 percent of the public wanted the games to be cancelled while a just under 33 percent prefer for the Olympics to be postponed.