Virus Be Damned: Tokyo’s Games Must Go On
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, was originally postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while Japan’s medical community still has concerns that the Olympics may be a superspreader event and among strong public opposition, the Tokyo Summer Games will begin this July.
Howard Snyder, TorchStone’s Asia Specialist, details the pressures behind the decision to give the 2020 Summer Games the green light in Asia Times’ Virus be damned: Tokyo’s Games must go on.
These pressures have very little to do with concern over the Tokyo hosts’ health and wellbeing, and much more about the International Olympics Committee’s arrogance and perhaps Japan’s government’s prostrating response.
While strong safety protocols will be enforced, Japan’s new infection numbers are falling, and vaccine administration is on the rise, the negativity surrounding the games is also causing apprehension for sponsors as their brand promotions can potentially backfire.
The pandemic has once again focused the spotlight on how the IOC’s management of the Olympics is not in the best interest of the host city, especially if all one can hope for is Howard’s optimistic scenario.