With no time to get around the pandemic, Japan becomes hostage to the Olympic Games – 06/07/2021 – Edgard Alves

Japan and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) are determined to hold the Olympic Games in Tokyo, regardless of the progress of the government’s attempt to control the new coronavirus pandemic in that country.

It turns out that the sanitary crisis is global, making an efficient regional blockade impossible, as the Olympics involves delegations from more than 200 countries.

The Japanese media has not swept the crisis under the rug. It exposes the dangers and risks of the pandemic, especially for the local population, always with expert assessments. Most of these are against the holding of the Games, with the opening ceremony scheduled for the 23rd of next month.

The Japanese organizers –governments and sport top hats in the country– and the IOC, which brings together 206 national committees, are under pressure and confirm the holding of the Games, but do not present concrete actions to support the event’s security plan, which has already been postponed. one year.

A new extension is discarded, as, in addition to the obstacles it would entail, it would also cause damage to the Paralympics, to be played soon after.

Therefore, the entities involved in organizing the event have avoided giving more clarifying statements about health issues.

An example already recorded here was that of John Coates, vice president of the IOC, who, without revealing details of the security plan, recently declared that the Games will be played even with Japanese cities under a state of emergency because of the pandemic.

The distribution of vaccines to Games registrants, provided by a major US manufacturer of the product, was a promotional move that had repercussions. It also served as a shield to ease criticism and doubts about the risks of the Olympics at this time.

This stage of negative evaluations of the Olympics, with the approaching competitions, was summed up in one word by Kaori Yamaguchi, bronze in Seoul-88 in women’s judo, when the specialty was disputed as a demonstration sport, and today a participant in the Japanese Olympic Committee.

In a Kyodo News report, reproduced by France Presse, she said that Japan is “hostage” of the Olympic Games. In other words, in an extreme situation, the organizers support the mega event, guaranteeing that something will be done. Yamaguchi also stated that the Games “have lost their meaning”, but it is “too late” to cancel it.

Recent opinion polls have shown that the majority of the Japanese population is in favor of postponing or canceling the Games. There are also other expectations, such as that of the government’s main medical adviser, Shigeru Omi, arguing that the country should avoid hosting the event if the current sanitary situation continues until the 20th.

This Monday (7), president Jair Bolsonaro did not miss the opportunity to defend the Copa America football, which starts here on Sunday (13), with ten teams, and is being much criticized. He compared it to the Olympic Games, with tens of thousands of participants in the disputes and organization.

To Bolsonaro, if you can, here too. In Japan, only 3.4% of the 126 million inhabitants have been vaccinated. In Brazil, 14.3% are immunized with the second dose.

The arguments for holding the Olympics safely are fragile, as the risk of contamination by Covid-19 is a global reality. Therefore, information about the mechanisms in the attempts to neutralize the pandemic is the order of the day.

Tokyo-2020 president Seiko Hashimoto, at a press conference, did not respond when asked about a recent report by the British newspaper Financial Times, revealing that “major Japanese sponsors” are asking, in private conversations, that the Olympics be postponed by the less a few months, so that more spectators can attend the event.

It is certain that foreign fans will not be able to go to Japan to watch the Games, and the organizers are still studying the possibility of opening to the local public. The sponsors believe that the presence of fans in the stadiums will increase the repercussion of the event, enhancing their interests.

Avoiding dialogue is not a healthy path for a major international event like the Olympics. Organizers look scared, fearful. Transparency would help build credibility and trust, making the Games more solid.

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