Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, official partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, called for the cancellation of the Summer Games in an editorial on Wednesday, citing risks to public safety and strain on the medical system due to the COVID-pandemic. 19.
Poll after poll, the majority of the public is opposed to holding the Games this summer, concerned about the descent of tens of thousands of athletes and officials in a country that has mostly remained closed to foreigners since last year and where vaccinations progress slowly.
Doctors’ associations protested the Games, investors spoke of the benefits of suspending them, and maverick businessmen such as Masayoshi Son called for the games to be canceled.
The fact that Asahi, one of Japan’s most prestigious newspapers, has broken ranks with other partners is likely to heighten attention on the viability of the Games.
“We ask Prime Minister (Yoshihide) Suga to calmly and objectively assess the situation and decide on the cancellation of the event this summer,” said the newspaper, a left-wing daily which is often critical of the party. Liberal Democrat in power in Suga.
“We are a long way from a situation in which everyone can be sure they will be ‘safe’,” the newspaper added, citing the government’s mantra about the Games. “Unfortunately, this is not the reality. “
Several other major Japanese dailies, such as the Nikkei, Mainichi and Yomiuri, are also official partners of Tokyo 2020.
Asahi’s editorial was shared widely on social media, collecting more than 30,000 tweets by late morning.
Much of Japan, including the host city of Tokyo, remains under a third state of emergency that is widely expected to be extended beyond this month, and although Japan has been spared the ravages of coronaviruses from countries of overseas, he struggled to control a fourth wave of infections. Across the country.
Just over 5% of the nation has been vaccinated and has recorded an estimated 719,000 infections and 12,394 deaths.
A public health professor and New Zealand government adviser said on Tuesday that the continuation of the Games was “absurd”. Read more
The United States issued a travel warning to Japan on Monday, but Japanese officials said it would not affect the Games, and the White House said on Tuesday it was upholding the decision to hold the Games as scheduled. Read more
The Australian softball team is expected to arrive in Japan on June 1 for a pre-Olympic training camp in Gunma, a prefecture about 150 km northwest of Tokyo.
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