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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike Confident of Celebrating Safe Olympic Games in July 2021

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The Antwerp games were held in 1920, shortly after the First World War and the so-called Spanish flu epidemic. They served as a symbol of post crisis solidarity and recovery. The Tokyo 2020 games can also symbolize the resilience of humanity as we work together to defeat this invisible enemy, COVID-19.

 

These were the words of Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike as she presented the perspective of the metropolitan government on moving forward with organization of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in a press conference on November 24.

 

Koike touched upon the urgent worry of what to do regarding the rising number of COVID-19 infections that has plagued Japan together with the rest of the world. She then explained some of the measures the government is taking to prepare for a safe Olympic and Paralympic games, now set to take place next summer.

 

 

Towards a Safe Olympics

 

Steps for delivering a successful Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are clearly continuing in the background.

 

Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) visited Tokyo from November 15 to 18, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

 

His aim for the visit was to assess the progress and discuss with all the relevant parties what measures to take to achieve safe Olympic Games.

 

Yuriko Koike admitted that among the issues discussed with the IOC chairman was the reduction in costs for a simplified games, commenting:

 

It is also crucial that we consider cost reductions of the past postponed games to gain the support of the people of Tokyo and the rest of the world. We will continue to work hard to simplify preparations and operation of the games as much as possible.

 

Another key topic was one of how to provide a vaccine for the athletes and staff attending the games. On this, Koike showed optimism regarding collaboration with the IOC, as she said: “Bach’s remark that the IOC was prepared to cover the cost of the vaccine for all athletes and related participants was also something particularly noteworthy.”

 

Tokyo has also been gaining confidence in the fact that it can successfully deliver the large Olympics event under current COVID-19 pandemic conditions. In what many considered a test case, Tokyo hosted an international gymnastics competition in Shibuya (Tokyo) on November 8. Top athletes from Japan, Russia, China, the U.S. participated, and there were more than 2,000 spectators.

 

Governor Koike commented on the success of the international competition, and commented:

 

This event demonstrated the ingenuity of safety and security measures. I would like to pay tribute to all those involved in this event. We are also proud that we could demonstrate our ability to host such an event in Tokyo during these difficult times.

 

In addition to this, the national government has been experimenting with safe ways to hold sport events. In the last weekend of October baseball games took place at Yokohama Stadium, where over the space of three days spectators were increased gradually to near-full capacity. However, along the way video cameras and AI were introduced to monitor the crowds and make sure groups of people didn’t form while queuing for toilets and so on, thereby managing the risk of infection. 

 

Data published in the first part of November suggests that it’s possible to avoid large queues and minimize the chance of airborne transmission in crowded places.

 

What are the key points upon which the games turn? Koike highlighted attentive monitoring of the spread of the virus across the world and the implementation of strict COVID-19 prevention policies on the ground.  

 

Upon satisfying these conditions, Koike expressed cautious optimism that safe Olympic Games for everyone to enjoy could be a reality:  

 

The best-case scenario would be something where the athletes from all countries would be able to come here to Japan in safety and with ease of mind, and that the Olympics couldーas in previous yearsーbe held with spectators present in full capacity.

 

 

Background: The COVID-19 Situation in Japan and Tokyo

 

To give some background, while other countries are currently dealing with the second wave that is taking a heavy toll on both the medical and economic fabric of many countries, Japan seems to be grappling relatively well with the pandemic.

 

The country has registered a couple of hundred cases a day for most of the first half of the year since the start of the pandemic. There was a peak in spring when the government called the state of emergency. Since then, the summer period saw a modest increase in COVID-19 cases, especially in the capital, which registered about 500 cases at its peak.

 

Japan is currently dealing with what experts are calling “the third wave”, with daily new infections nationwide reaching 2,000-2,500 cases for the first time in the third week of November.

 

However, despite the worrying rise of contagions, the number of serious cases and deaths have stayed contained since the start of the pandemic. 2,028 COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded in total in Japan since the start of the pandemic. Tokyo had 51 people in intensive care as of November 25.

 

Given the circumstances of the contagion and the steps taken by the national and local governments, many of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee parties showed optimism regarding holding the Olympic Games after Thomas Bach’s November visit to Japan.

 

Thomas Bach in press conferences during his visit to Japan repeated multiple times that the Tokyo 2020 could represent “the light at the end of tunnel” in the year of COVID-19.

 

The 1920 Antwerp games are perhaps not the best known Olympics of this generation, but they took place, even in a world which was less globalized than the one we live in now.

 

Might Tokyo 2020 be the light at the end of the tunnel that Thomas Bach is hoping they would become?

 

 

Author: Arielle Busetto

 

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1 Comment

  1. samirsardana

    November 26, 2020 at 2:27 am

    A nation which cannot plan the onion crop,is going to go to war,with the PRC.What is the pointer for the PLA ? The basic flaw of the Indian weasels and cowards is – their inability to plan for contingencies,and their impotence,at the time of execution of plans.dindooohindoo

    In the wars with Pakistan,id.est,the land wars,The Pakistanis never really tested the Indians.A pre-emptive attack,just has some surprise value,which is a part,of contingency planning.Since the Indians had the numbers – they could blunder and flounder,their way,to a defense.

    So we levitate and move to Galwan.If the PLA cuts off the supply and communication lines of the Indian weasesls,and kills of their operational heads (Majors etc),the Indian clowns will just collapse or run away. 1stly,as they are cowards – and 2ndly,as there is no plan,for that eventuality.If Chinese Int scans Indians,in PRC,HK,Singapore – then,besides being weasels,cowards,dumb,petty and unattractive – they are RISK AVERSE.

    Place the battlefield situation – when their supply and communication lines,are cut,and their operational trench commander,is killed – what will these Indian Apes do ? They will run away – just like in 1962 – because there is NO PLAN,for that eventuality – and even if there was one,it was NOT TESTED,and Indians ALWAYS fail,to execute plans.And all that will be compounded,by their being RISK AVERSE – which means, that there will BE NO INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY.

    There is NOTHING NEW about this.Even the Mughals wrote about the pathetic battle stretegy and tactics of the Indians.Even then,when the Military Commander of King was killed – the army ran off – partly,as they are cowards,but mainly,because the planner was dead,and so was the person who directed the execution,of the plans.The Tibetans in the Indian Army,are OBSOLETE.The stage of rock fighting is over.Minus 30 degrees war in Ladakh,is a TECHNOLOGY WAR,with PLANNING and PERFECT EXECUTION,backed by deep and efficient logistics.These are NOT Indian Traits or IndianAreas of Competency (let alone,excellence)

    Indians have never fought a war,at MINUS 30 degrees.Thus,there is no REALISTIC PLAN,and even when that plan is rolled out,there will be disasters and contingencies,for which the Indians will have no solutions,and their communication lines with the HQ and Delhi,will be CUT.

    Further,the Indians have NO INT on PLA technology,which will be used at MINUS 30 degrees warfare,and PRC logistics are way ahead of India.Mistakes on the battlefield,can ONLY BE CORRECTED,by Logistics – in a large quantum,and the minimal time.India is NO Match,in that domain.Besides,Indian Logistics can be sabotaged,from Inside India,and,by using Indians – and India,has no similar capabilities,in Tibet (even for,rake and road logistics)

    This is Y, the PLA will doom the Indian Army

    A nation which cannot manage Onion Prices,Annual Monsoon Floods,COVID,where 1000s of farmers hang every year,will fight a war with the PRC ?

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