Petition to cancel Tokyo Olympics reaches 350,000 signatures

2021-05-14 19:53:54

An internet petition with greater than 350,000 signatures calling for the Tokyo Video games to be canceled was submitted Friday to native organizers, the Worldwide Olympic Committee and others.

The Olympics are scheduled to open in simply 10 weeks on July 23 within the midst of a pandemic with Tokyo and different areas below a state of emergency. Circumstances proceed to rise in Japan, the place lower than 2% of the inhabitants has been totally vaccinated.

The petition marketing campaign — referred to as “Cease Tokyo Olympics” — was drafted by well-known lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya, who has additionally run for governor of Tokyo. He mentioned the response was stunning however acknowledged that this was too little, and possibly too late.

“I feel that the media protection places a variety of strain on the IOC, the Worldwide Paralympic Committee, the Japanese authorities, the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities and the organizing committee,” Utsunomiya mentioned at a information convention. “So in that sense, I’m glad I did it. Nevertheless, when it comes to the numbers, I feel that tens of thousands and thousands of signatures are actually mandatory.”

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Utsunomiya mentioned the Olympics would divert medical companies from most people, which has been a rising concern as hospitals come below strains that might worsen because the video games method.

Organizers and the IOC say they are going to maintain the video games safely, isolating 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes in a “bubble” and repeatedly testing them and the tens of 1000’s of others _ judges, workers, sponsors, media and broadcasters _ who will enter a rustic that has had its borders sealed for a yr.

Japan has attributed about 11,000 deaths to COVID-19, good by world requirements however poor in Asia the place locations like Taiwan and South Korea have been extra profitable.

There in no indication the Olympics can be canceled with billions of {dollars} using on it, though there was opposition from the native medical group. Final month, the British Medical Journal steered the video games be “reconsidered.”

Click to play video: 'No thoughts of cancelling Olympics despite Japan’s rise in COVID-19 cases: IOC'

No ideas of cancelling Olympics regardless of Japan’s rise in COVID-19 circumstances: IOC

No ideas of cancelling Olympics regardless of Japan’s rise in COVID-19 circumstances: IOC

The IOC depends on promoting broadcast rights for nearly 75% of its revenue — 18% extra is from sponsors — and Japan has formally spent $15.4 billion to arrange the Olympics. A authorities audit has steered the quantity is perhaps twice that giant.

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Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the Tokyo organizing committee, was pressed on Japan’s stretched medical system at her weekly briefing on Friday _ held individually from the petition submission.

Organizers have mentioned a number of occasions mentioned they are going to want 10,000 medical contributors to workers the Olympics. However Hashimoto hedged this time on the numbers and the scale of the workers wanted. Organizers have additionally been searching for nurses to volunteer, and sports activities drugs specialists.

This crunch comes as no less than two prefectures close to Tokyo — Ibaraki and Chiba — have mentioned they won’t be able to deal with Olympic contributors who fall unwell. One other prefecture, Kanagawa, steered one thing related.

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Olympic official says Tokyo Video games will go forward, however admits opposition ‘a priority’

Additionally on Friday, the Japanese authorities mentioned it could difficulty a state of emergency for 3 extra prefectures, becoming a member of Tokyo, Osaka and several other others. The three are the northern Hokkaido prefecture, and Hiroshima and Okayama in western Japan. The restrictions final till Might 31. Bars, karaoke parlors and most leisure services are required to shut. Enterprise proprietor who comply can be compensated; those that don’t face fines.

“On the purpose concerning the variety of workers wanted and what number of medical workers we want, and what number of hospitals we should be working with — all of this we’re nonetheless not able to share at this level but,” Hashimoto mentioned. “However we can be sharing the knowledge when it turns into accessible.”

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She mentioned the scale of medical workers might rely upon a choice about what number of native followers — if any — can be allowed to attend occasions. She promised that quantity for April, however has pushed it again till June. Followers from overseas have already been banned.

Hashimoto repeatedly acknowledged the general public unease concerning the well being care system.

“The biggest concern that individuals have is whether or not holding the Tokyo Video games might severely affect the capability of the medical practitioners and the well being care group in making correct therapy of these people who find themselves contaminated,” she mentioned. “We’re doing our greatest to implement probably the most stringent of anti-COVID-19 measures.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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