With the rescheduled Olympic Games only three months away, Tokyo and Osaka have been placed under ’emergency orders’ due to rising cases of coronavirus – but organisers insist the games will still go ahead.
The lockdown is timed to coincide with Japan’s ‘golden week’ holiday period and is meant to keep people from congregating in public places or travelling. The measures are scheduled to end on May 11 – just days before International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is meant to make a much-publicised visit to Hirsohima on May 17.
But opposition to the games continues to grow in Japan. Opposition politican Yuichiro Tamaki of the Democratic Party for the People was quoted as saying that “Japan should decide its own public health policies. There is no reason we should be told by Mr Bach what to do.”
But Bach has rejected the implication that the Japanese government are bending policy to suit the IOC and to make sure the games go ahead: “This (state of emergency) is absolutely in line with the overall policy of the government,” he said. “But it is not related to the Olympic Games. It is related to the golden week.”
The Olympics are set to open on July 23 without any spectators in attendance. Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organising committee, has said that the committee is not thinking about cancelling, but Tokyo cabinet secretary Toshihiro Nikai admitted cancelling the Olympics, postponed from last year, was still an option earlier this month.