The words of the IOC vice-president about the Tokyo Olympics caused outrage in Japan

John Coates said that the competition will take place despite the pandemic.

The statement of the IOC vice-president that the Tokyo Olympics will be held even under a state of emergency in connection with COVID-19 caused a violent reaction in Japan.

John Coates made this statement a few days ago at a press conference, repeating what the IOC and local organizers had already said, but his tone was defiant.

“Absolutely,” Coates said when asked if the Olympics would take place if the state of emergency was in place.

The opening of the Olympic Games with the participation of 11 thousand athletes from 200 countries and territories is scheduled for July 23. The IOC and the organizers assure that they will be “safe and secure.”

According to surveys, 60 to 80 percent of Japanese residents oppose holding the Games in two months at the height of the pandemic.

COVID-19 is associated with just over 12,000 deaths in Japan – not much by global standards, but a lot for Asia. A state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo, Osaka, and some other areas until May 31. It will likely be extended.

There are also concerns about the spread of new variants of the virus, as only a small proportion of Japanese people – some estimates range from 2 to 4 percent – have been vaccinated.

Formally, the Games belong to the International Olympic Committee, and only it has the right to cancel them. Of course, any step must be coordinated with the Japanese organizers.

So far, there are no hints that this will happen.

Social media criticized Coates, and also attacked IOC President Thomas Bach, who repeatedly said that everyone should “make sacrifices” to host the Olympics.

The organizers have already banned the entry of fans from other countries. The decision on the participation of local fans will be made in June.

Three-quarters of the IOC’s revenue comes from the sale of broadcast rights. Japan has officially spent $ 15.4 billion on preparations for the Games, with only $ 6.7 billion of that being non-budgetary. The organizers and the IOC assure that the competition will be safe thanks to extensive testing and the creation of a “bubble” around the athletes. According to them, more than 80 percent of the residents of the Olympic Village will be vaccinated.

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Author: Oleg Ceban
Graduated from University of Oxford. Previously, he worked in various diferent news media. Currently, it is a columnist of the world news section in the Free News editors.
Function: Editor
Oleg Ceban

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