Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo that will be enforced during the Olympics
The host city for the postponed Olympic Games is struggling to cope with a quick rise in Covid19 cases again.
This response from Japan’s leader will probably lead to there being no spectators at any sporting events. They had already announced weeks ago that there would be 10,000 or 50 percent capacity at every venue but they will likely have to backtrack on this decision.
They had also already decided months ago, in the interest of safety, that no overseas spectators would be allowed at the events.
The state of emergency was announced after Tokyo reported 912 new Covid19 infections, their highest total since the 13th of May.
This will be Tokyo’s fourth state of emergency over the course of the pandemic. It will begin on Monday, just 11 days from the start of the Olympics.
Mr. Suga said at the announcement today:
“Taking into consideration the effect of coronavirus variants and the need to prevent infections from spreading to the rest of the nation again. We need to strengthen our countermeasures.
“Given the situation, we will issue a state of emergency for Tokyo.”
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— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 8, 2021
The Japanese people are not happy with how Mr. Suga and his political party have dealt with the pandemic. They performed badly at the latest metropolitan assembly elections last weekend.
The Olympic Committee and the Japanese Organisation Committee would still want the Games to take place. The country has already put a lot of money into the tournament, including a new $1.4 billion national stadium.
Only 15 percent of Japan’s population is currently vaccinated.
The athletes traveling to the games are left unsure if this will be safe or if it will fully go ahead.
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Yokohama Stadium ready to host #Tokyo2020 baseball and softball pic.twitter.com/DmvI0nufSn
— Riccardo Fraccari (@WBSCPresident) July 7, 2021