Tokyo Olympics are a go despite opposition, pandemic

Tokyo, Jun 02 (AP): Will the postponed Tokyo Olympics open despite rising opposition and the pandemic? The answer is almost certainly yes.”
Senior International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound was emphatic in an interview with a British newspaper. Barring Armageddon that we can’t see or anticipate, these things are a go, Pound told the Evening Standard. Tokyo is under a COVID-19 state of emergency, but IOC Vice President John Coates has said the games will open on July 23 state of emergency, or no state of emergency. As an exclamation point, Australia’s softball team the first major group of athletes from abroad to set up an Olympic base in Japan arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday. So the Olympics are barreling ahead. But why? Start with billions of dollars at stake, a contract that overwhelmingly favors the IOC, and a decision by the Japanese government to stay the course, which might help Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga keep his job.
These factors have overridden scathing criticism from medical bodies that fear the Olympics may spread COVID-19 variants, and a call for cancellation from Asahi Shimbun, a games’ sponsor and the country’s second-largest selling newspaper. The United States Department of State has issued a Level-4 Do not travel warning for Japan with Tokyo and other areas under a state of emergency that expires on June 20.
And there’s saving face. Japan has officially spent 15.4 billion on the Olympics, but several government audits suggest it’s much more. All but 6.7 billion is public money. Geopolitical rival China is to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics just six months after Tokyo ends, and could claim centerstage should Tokyo fail.

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