On July 23, the Olympic Games are scheduled to begin in Tokyo, they were supposed to take place last year but were postponed due to the pandemic.
In two months, the Olympic Games, which were canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus, are due to start in Japan. But with the games in 2021, there is also no absolute clarity yet. The Japanese authorities are not going to allow foreign fans to attend the games - only athletes and team personnel.
According to polls, between 60% and 80% of Japanese people would like the Olympics to be postponed again or even canceled. But this can lead to huge financial losses.
Recommendations from the United States
The number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 in Japan still looks moderate compared to the peak rates in many other countries, but, nevertheless, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that US citizens should avoid traveling to this country, because "in the current situation in Japan, even the fully vaccinated can be at risk of infection and spread" of the coronavirus.
However, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee have already said that the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control will not force it to change its plans.
"We are confident that the precautions are taken by us and the Tokyo Games Organizing Committee, coupled with pre-trip testing, post-arrival testing, and during the Games, will ensure the safety of Team USA athletes," the U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement.
The Japanese government said the recommendation from the US medical authorities would not affect plans to host the Olympics. "We believe that the U.S. position has not changed, and the United States continues to support the Japanese government's firm commitment to host the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato.
Protests in Japan against the Olympics
In recent weeks, Japan has been hit by the fourth wave of coronavirus, morbidity, and mortality rates are setting new records, and a state of emergency has been declared in the largest metropolitan areas of Tokyo and Osaka and in several other regions.
The number of new cases of infection detected per day in mid-May exceeded seven thousand, and the number of deaths in one of the days exceeded two hundred.
However, this wave, judging by statistics, is already on the decline, and most importantly-even the latest peak indicators of Japan look very moderate against the background of many other countries. In Britain, for example, where half as many people live as in Japan, there were ten times as many infections and about seven to eight times as many deaths per day at the January peak.
In total, 723 thousand cases of infection and 12.3 thousand deaths have been registered in Japan so far.
On the other hand, in Japan, vaccination is very slow compared to other rich countries: so far, less than 2% of the population is fully vaccinated. Authorities have deployed mass vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka since Monday and hope that at least all residents over 65 will be fully vaccinated by the end of July.
The cancellation of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will cost Japan about $17 billion, according to a study by the Nomura Institute.
Experts warn of even greater economic losses if the authorities declare a new state of emergency.
According to the institute, if the Games are held in Tokyo without spectators, it will bring 1.66 trillion yen (approximately $15 billion) benefits вЂ“ 146.8 billion yen ($1.3 billion) less if they were held with local spectators.