From layoffs for macho and humiliating comments to artists under pressure from the covid-19 pandemic and to other controversies, such as the abandonment of North Korea, overshadow the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games 100 days before the start.
Until the opening ceremony in the capital of Japan, scheduled for July 23, a lot of water will flow under the bridge, in a river that carries with it a Japanese public opinion highly favorable to a new postponement or cancellation of the test, measures to restrict the pandemic more tensions and several controversies in the Organizing Committee, in addition to the uncertainty surrounding the vaccination of over 200 expected national committees.
In February, Organizing Committee chairman Yoshiro Mori made disparaging comments about women, notably saying that they talk too much at meetings which makes them “drag on”. He apologized and retracted, but ended up resigning.
His successor, Seiko Hashimoto, started the term with the Committee involved in yet another controversy, after the magazine Shukan Bunshun revealed that the creative Hiroshi Sasaki suggested, in March 2020, before the postponement of the Games, to dress the popular artist in pig Naomi Watanabe, who suffers from obesity, for the opening ceremony.
The idea would be that the fashion icon in Japan, with international projection, would descend from the sky dressed in pink and with pig ears at the Olympic opening, with Sasaki, through text messages, making a play on words with the word “olympic”, which would thus become “Olympig”.
The Tokyo2020 president said she is already looking for alternatives to Sasaki, so that the incident does not have an impact on the launch of the Games, and thanked the role of the creative, who “has been instrumental in the success of the ceremonies”.
Mori, moreover, repeated: the former prime minister, 83 years old, insulted an advisor to a deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, “an old woman”, who is “too old to be called a woman”.
In April, in a survey by Kyodo News, only 24.5% of respondents were in favor of the event already this summer, with 39.2% calling for the cancellation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and 32.8% judging better a new one postponement.
And if public opinion is in favor of a new postponement or even a cancellation, a recent survey by the business sector, in February, showed that only 35% of the surveyed firms wanted the event.
The other two-thirds do not want Tokyo2020 within a country with a slower vaccination rate than others of its stature, and 88% think the event will have “very little impact” on the economy, according to Reuters.
In addition to this, there is a reinforcement of measures to combat the pandemic in Tokyo and other regions, announced this month by the Japanese government, in force until May 11.
Shorter hours of operation for bars and restaurants, identified as major sources of spread of the virus, since the survey of the state of emergency, about three weeks ago, are the main highlight in the list of guidelines.
Moreover, and because of the pandemic, North Korea has already announced that it will not send athletes to protect athletes and the country from infections, setting a possible precedent, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government insisting on the idea that the event will take place, as a “triumph of humanity over the new coronavirus”.
The many billion euros that the Games cost, a value that ‘skidded’ with the postponement, and the need to hold events for the IOC, whose revenues come mainly from television broadcasting agreements and sponsorships to the Olympic program, help to justify the interest in not canceling the race.
Japan, which since January 2020 accounted for 9,300 deaths from covid-19, has been registering a significant increase in cases of infection, especially in large cities.
The vaccination campaign for the general population has not yet started, with only the elderly and health professionals being vaccinated.
Due to the pandemic of covid-19, which in Portugal has already caused 16,899 deaths, the Tokyo2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, scheduled for last summer, were postponed by about a year.
The Olympic Games will take place between 23 July and 8 August, while the Paralympic Games will take place between 24 August and 5 September.
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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