The Olympics rings are up and the lovable wide-eyed mascots are plastered throughout billboards and commuter trains, however folks in Tokyo are more and more satisfied the Games gained’t occur this summer time.
After weeks of strain from athletes and sports activities associations, the International Olympic Committee this weekend acknowledged postponement is a chance, and on Monday Japan’s prime minister mentioned a choice to delay over the coronavirus might now be “inevitable”.
For many in Tokyo, that hardly seems like information, after a gradual drumbeat concerning the pandemic that has now contaminated greater than 325,000 folks and killed over 14,400 worldwide.
“There is no way we can hold it,” 75-year-old Noriko Shuzui instructed AFP as she shopped in Tokyo’s Ginza district on Monday.
“Even if Japan had overcome the virus, if the world hadn’t we would receive no athletes, no spectators. No way we can do it.”
Japan has to date seen greater than 1,000 infections and 41 deaths, but it surely has taken fewer measures to limit day by day life, scaling again however not cancelling a welcome ceremony for the Olympic torch final week.
Still, the information from around the globe seems to have satisfied people who the Games can’t be held as scheduled, with 69 % of respondents polled by Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun day by day they thought it was now higher to postpone the occasion.
Just 17 % thought it will be finest to carry the Games as deliberate, with eight % satisfied the Olympics ought to be cancelled altogether, the weekend ballot confirmed.
Shuzui mentioned a postponement appeared essential underneath the circumstances.
“The first priority now is to fight the new coronavirus. Everyone was looking forward to it, so it would be sad and disappointing,” she mentioned.
“But we’ve got to take some measures.”
She had harsh phrases for organisers and officers who till this weekend had insisted the Games would be capable to go forward as scheduled.
“I think it’s nonsense.”
‘Think about people’s security’
The IOC and Japanese officers have mentioned cancelling the Games just isn’t on the desk, with a postponement now seemingly the likeliest choice regardless of posing formidable logistical challenges.
“It would be sad if it has to be postponed,” mentioned Yudai Yamamoto, a buying and selling agency worker, who mentioned he was glad that cancellation didn’t seem like on the desk.
“I want to see the Games take place at some point,” the 22-year-old mentioned.
Organisers have insisted that preparations had been going forward for the Games to open as scheduled on July 24, however the virus has already hit occasions from qualifiers to the torch relay.
Despite requires folks to keep away from gathering in crowds, tens of 1000’s of individuals flocked to see the flame being displayed in northeastern Japan over the weekend, elevating questions on whether or not the relay shall be altered over security issues.
Naonobu Terashima, a 78-year-old pensioner, instructed AFP he needed a choice to be taken based mostly on security.
“I’m sure it was a great deal of effort to bid for and win the Olympics. But… I don’t think we should take the risk of harming people’s health,” he mentioned.