TOKYO–Japan finally has postponed the ill-conceived, infernally sizzling, and extremely hazardous Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled for July. And this may be the first time the coronavirus pandemic actually has saved lives.
On Tuesday evening, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee( IOC) President Thomas Bach harboured an elaborately staged teleconference, ostensibly to discuss how to handle the Olympic Games in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, it was a foregone conclusion that the Olympics would be canceled or postponed once Canada and Australia both made it clear they would not send athletes to the games.
In a roundabout praise to the Olympic-obsessed Abe and Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike, the Canadian Olympic Committee said flatly on Monday that,” with COVID-1 9 and the accompanied risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their own families and the broader Canadian community for jocks to continue training towards those recreations .” Australia followed suit. And others were expected to do the same, although President Donald Trump, as usual, prevaricated, saying the decision would be up to Abe.
Shortly after this, Abe indicated to Japan’s parliament for the first time that the games might be put off for a while. Abe, like Trump, may be poor at reading a teleprompter or even his painstakingly trained answers to questions Japan reporters submit in advance, but he does seem to be able to read the writing on the wall.
It must come as a misfortune for Japan’s regulating alignment for the Olympics to be shelved, despite dedicated efforts to manufacture Japan’s coronavirus difficulty appear to be under control by suppressing testing and effectively doing nothing at all to stop the spread.
Now that the July 2020 Olympic dream has evanesced, maybe Japan will begin serious testing for the coronavirus. As of March 2, Japan averaged 72 evaluations per million people; South Korea averaged 4,099 per million. Do the math. It’s not hard to see why Japan’s official number of polluted citizens remained low.
The IOC in its official affirmation Tuesday did shy Abe a bone:” In a very friendly and constructive rally, the two leaders admired the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and noted the great progress being attained in Japan to fight against COVID-1 9.”
Yappari . Of direction they would.
Tokyo Governor Koike, who has insisted time and time again that the Olympics must go on, was present at Tuesday night’s teleconference. On March 12, after the World Health Organization( WHO) was reported that coronavirus was a pandemic, Koike spouted one of her classic soundbites.” It can’t be said that the advertisement of a pandemic won’t has the effect[ on the Olympics ]…. But I see abandonment is inconceivable .”
Apparently she is now able to conceive of it and reportedly made madly with Abe and Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the Tokyo Organizing Committee, along with Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, to get the IOC to agree to a adjournment rather than a elimination.
Koike told reporters with some glee on Tuesday that the” Tokyo 2020 Olympics” would still be referred to under the word” Tokyo 2020 Olympics” even in 2021, such are the temporal dislocations when a pandemic make-ups the world stand still.( Probably that saves on engraving rates as well .)
Koike has been almost frenetic in her insistence that the Olympics would be held, come what may. At hours she’s been suggestive of the Iowa farmer in the movie Field Of Dreams who constructs a baseball diamond in a cornfield after hearing a expression that insists,” If you build it,[ they] will come .”
There is a historical element to the decision as well. Since the modern Olympics began in 1896, the games have never been postponed. In 1916, 1940, and 1944, because of the World Wars, they were simply canceled.
As memo, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been questionable from the start. Prime Minister Abesealed the handled in 2013 by assuring the IOC that the fallout and radioactive contamination from the March 2011 Tokyo Electric Power Plant’s nuclear meltdownin Fukushima “re not” a number of problems, and that everything was ” under control .” Lately, he has been saying the same thing about Japan’s coronavirus spread.
In recent years, it has become apparent that Japan lied in its proposal to the IOC when it claimed that July and August were optimum hours for video games. After various times of unprecedented high temperatures and over 100 deaths from heat-stroke, even the IOC flourished concerned about the safety of the athletes playing in the Tokyo games.
In October 2019, the IOC rescinded its Japanese counterparts and unilaterally decided to move the marathon to Sapporo in Northern Japan, where temperatures are somewhat cool.
French lawyers adjudicated, furthermore, that Japan won the Olympic bid by funneling over $2.3 million in bribes to people with influence in determining the Olympic venue. The director of Japan &# x27; s Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, was indicted in France on bribery accusations and abdicated in disgrace in May last year.
Of course, officialdom conveniently “d forgotten about” the vice-chairman of Japan’s Olympic Committee whose alleged ties to the yakuza, Japan’s mafia, is coming to haunt him until he humbly left the stage.
However, in terms of cost performance the$ two million in alleged bribes was a great bargain compared to the original budget proposed for the Olympics, $7.3 billion. And the actual spending related to the events is now estimated to reach $ 26 billion by the Board of Audit Japan.
It is yet unclear when next year the Olympics will take place. In the best of all possible world-wides , now that Japan is out of the barrage for a July/ August time Olympics, perhaps they can be scheduled for October. That was the Olympic month for Japan’s recreations in 1964 because Abe’s precedes understood that time athletics in Japan can be deadly.
But considering how the government is handling the coronavirus, Japan might as well only scrap the expensive new Olympic stadium with its restriction air-conditioning and contained video games on a monstrous fry pan.
Just ask Koike, who surely reputes if you construct the privilege fry pan, they will still come.
Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky contributed to this article.