The Olympics are set to begin in Tokyo within five weeks of last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19. But as the opening ceremony wears off, many in Japan continue to question the decision to host the Games, threatening to unleash another wave of infection that could disrupt the country’s fragile economic recovery.
Although foreign spectators have been banned from participating in the Games, the event will involve athletes and officials from around the world, increasing the risk of introducing new versions of Japan Aponia COVID-19.
Some health experts fear that the Games could become a “super-distributing” event. Last month, the head of the Aponia Doctors’ Union warned that the gathering could even give rise to a new COVID-19 “Tokyo Olympic” tension.
Japan Aponia is in the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, and its third declared state of emergency is expected to ease next week.
Although the government has stepped up its vaccination campaign, it lags behind developed countries when it comes to drilling.
As of Wednesday, according to Our World in Data, only more than 6 percent of Japan’s population had been fully vaccinated and less than 10 percent had been vaccinated.
The growing number of voices, which includes nurses’ unions, medical associations, prominent business leaders, including Rakuten’s SoftBank executives, and even one of the government’s top medical advisers, are demanding that the Olympics be postponed again or canceled altogether. The country’s already stretched healthcare system ել to keep its economic decline on track.
Like the rest of the world, the Japanese aponia last year saw its economy hit badly due to COVID-19 blockades և restrictions. But his creep before the epidemic health lagged behind his peers. According to the virus, the decline in the state of emergency fluctuates in the first three months of this year, when the economy shrank by 3.9% compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest government reading.
While many economists see the country growing modestly in the second quarter, some fear the recovery could hit hard if the Olympics unleash more damage on COVID-19.
“The Olympics could be another impetus for the spread of the coronavirus. “The negative impact on the economy could be enormous,” said Takahide Kiuchi, an economist at the Nomura Research Institute.
According to a former economist at the Bank of Aponia, the three outbreaks of the epidemic are currently costing the country $ 6.4 trillion, $ 6.3 trillion և 3.2 trillion yen ($ 58.1 billion, $ 57.2 billion և $ 29 billion), respectively.
If the games trigger another wave of infections leading to a state of emergency, Kiuchi says it could lead to a further contraction of the economy in the last three months of this year.
“Once we have weighed in on how much revenue the games could generate, from $ 15.1 billion to $ 16.4 billion, depending on whether local fans will fill the seats, the potential financial cost of moving the games forward is dwarf for potential benefits,” Kyucci added.
One person who would like to see the games canceled is Etsuko Yamazaki. The owner of a Ramen store in Tokyo’s Suginamé district told Al Jazeera that he had turned to selling his personal belongings to keep his business afloat through ongoing blockades.
The 35-year-old girl became a social media celebrity in May after a passer-by posted a picture of her handwritten poster on her Twitter, which read: “I have not received any help from Tokyo, I am ashamed to say that I have no other private items for sale. I have reached our border … customers, please help me. ”
The tweet went viral, և customers burst into noodles as a sign of a concert. But he fears the aid will only be temporary if the Olympics erupt into a “single wave” of COVID-19 and impose more restrictions on business.
The sad message of the Ramen store on the route is sad. pic.twitter.com/rpmCklQIKY:
– Special unique ✹ (@Manager_Uni) May 21, 2021
“I can not say that we will be fine. “If the Olympics make things worse, it will be harder for us to do business,” Yamazaki told Al Jazeera. “All the restaurants and bars are struggling now.”
But not all small and medium-sized businesses are so eager to light a candle. Motokuni Takaoka is the President of Tokyo’s Olympic-sponsored bedding supplier Airweave. He estimates that last year the games were postponed when his company lost $ 5 to $ 10 million, and wants to see how they plan this year.
“If the Olympics are held, we must support it,” he told Al Jazeera.
The role of the IOC
Some experts say that it is not the Japanese apony but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that has the authority to cancel the Games.
Although the Japanese apony could have terminated its contract with the IOC, “the costs would have been enormous,” said Paul O’Shea, a senior lecturer at Lund University in Sweden. conversation:,
According to O’Shea, although host cities usually lose money during the Olympics, the IOC derives its revenue from hosting them.
Laura Misner, director of the School of Kinesiology at Western Canada University, says the billion-dollar-sponsored IOC is pushing for its brand to be polluted.
“I think the irony, of course, is the fact that if it does not work out well, they will bring everyone there, the brand they are going to leave with will be much worse than the terms of the cancellation. [the] “The games at the moment,” he told Al Jazeera.
But others say there may be a tough political tally against the backdrop of reports in the media that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is likely to call a snap election after the Olympics.
The IOC rejected Al Jazeera’s request for an interview. Tokyo 2020 Press Office, citing time constraints, could not satisfy Al aze Azira TV interview for this article.
Robert Baade, a professor of economics at Lake Forest College in the United States who has written about the economic impact of the Olympics, has little faith in the theory that contractual obligations and the threat of massive fines seem to dictate Japan’s apology to the IOC.
“I think the Aponian government would like the IOC to make that decision, they can always blame the IOC,” he told Al Jazeera. “I guess if something goes wrong, but given the fact that the games are unpopular with the people, then maybe this is a logical thing for the do aponia government.”