- The delayed 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to be held in Japan in July and August.
- More than 80% of Japanese do not want them to be done, given the low rate of vaccinations and growing infections.
- A lawyer initiated a petition to cancel the games, and forwarded it to the president of the games.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
Kenji Utsunomiya has successfully asked the government to get what he wants first.
In 2003, Utsunomiya, a Japanese lawyer, stood up – with 3 million Japanese signing his petition – and asked the nation’s leaders to stop. predatory loans, who were preying on borrowers so hard that many ran away from their families, their jobs and their lives.
From 2006, and new Japanese laws have been enacted to curb interest rates, and set debt limits, in line with what he proposed.
Now, Utsunomiya says he is fighting for the lives of many more Japanese, as the Tokyo Olympics approach the summer amid a deadly wave of new COVID-19 infections in the country.
“The reality is that people are dying,” Utsunomiya told Insider through a translator. “Lives that can be saved will be endangered because of the Olympics.”
Japan and the CIO show no signs of flamboyant because of pressure to cancel games
With only 2% of Japan completely vaccinated, and a fourth wave of coronavirus infections already plaguing the nation’s hospitals, most Japanese agree with Utsunomiya that now is not the time for any. game.
Japan’s deadliest week with the virus was last week, according to the latest data available from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. 764 people have died from the virus in Japan in the last seven days, and the country has registered 33,795 new cases. Already, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in Japan i2021 has surpassed the number of deaths by all 2020.
A a recent survey showed that more than 80% of the Japanese want the Summer Olympics to be either canceled in full or postponed to a later date. Utsunomiya’s Change.org petition has garnered nearly 400,000 signatures online, earning it a place among the 1% of Change petitions.
Despite public sentiment, the Japanese government and the organizers of the Olympics show no signs of changing their minds.
Instead, Japan has promised to increase its vaccination unit, with a new vaccination site in Tokyo opening this week with the goal of vaccinating 10,000 seniors a day, and another in Osaka promising to dispense 5,000 shots a day, according to Reuters. The new vaccination centers can hardly be called mass vaccination sites, as the populations of Tokyo and Osaka are about 14 million and 2.7 million, respectively.
“The coronavirus situation in Japan is getting worse, and there are more cases every day,” Utsunomiya said. “Healthcare workers are busy enough now that it’s unrealistic to be able to host the Olympics safely.”
U International Olympic Committee (which one he makes most of his money by selling TV rights to games, not physical tickets) also goes on to state that games, u the most expensive Summer Olympics ever, will be held in a “safe and secure” manner this summer, with rigorous testing of athletes, vaccines available for players and staff, and no spectators allowed in the country from outside (athletes’ families will not be allowed either). permits to watch them in person).
There are also 30 Japanese hospitals be put in reserve in case some Olympians catch the virus while they are here, a move that has angered many Japanese.
“Hospitals are crowded, completely overwhelmed by the number of patients,” Utsunomiya said. “There have been deaths at home because people are not able to go.”
Vaccines are being offered at the Olympics, while most Japanese health workers have not yet received shots.
Meanwhile, most of it Japanese health workers have not been vaccinated, and even fewer of them will be available to strike if they are sent to work the Olympic Games.
“There’s talk of a huge penalty (if the Games are canceled), but if 100,000 people from 200 countries go down on the Japan laggard vaccine and the mutant variant spreads, I think we could lose a lot more: Live, the weight of the subsidies if a state of emergency is called, a drop in gross national product, and the patience of the public, ”SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, the second richest person in Japan, he said on Twitter, criticizing the decision to continue holding the games.
Utsunomiya says the reasons why the Japanese government will not give up on the festivities, despite the fire, are clear.
“This is very politically driven.”
“This is very politically driven,” he said, explaining what the government has received low qualifications for their management of the coronavirus pandemic. The prime minister may be banking on the Olympics going well as a way to help increase his chances in the next election, scheduled for this autumn.
“I am fighting for these precious lives that can be lost because of this politically guided approach to the Olympics and the coronavirus situation,” Utsunomiya said.
All translations courtesy of Lisa Masuda.