A top Japanese virologist has further fueled resistance in Japan against continuing the Olympic Games. Professor Hiroshi Oshitani, one of the government advisers in the corona pandemic, has warned of the spread of the virus during the Tokyo Games.
“The government and the organizing committee, including the International Olympic Committee, continue to say they are holding a safe Olympics. But everyone knows there is a risk. It is 100 percent impossible to hold an Olympic Games without risk of spreading infection in Japan and in other countries after the Games,” Oshitani told The Times.
“There are countries that do not have many corona cases and countries that also do not have variants of the virus. The Olympics should not ensure that the virus is spread to these countries. Many countries also do not have a vaccine yet,” said the virologist.
The Games start on July 23. Strict hygiene regulations have been put in place to make the event as safe as possible. Foreign spectators are not welcome, and it is by no means certain that the Japanese can attend the sports matches.
A state of emergency is still in effect in Tokyo and other regions due to the increased infections. This will probably last until June 20. Japan’s Olympic Affairs Minister Tamayo Marukawa said that a new postponement of the Games is impossible on Tuesday. She responded to reports in the British media in which key sponsors are proposing to hold the event a few months later, once the pandemic is under control.
Marukawa pointed out that the first foreign athletes have already arrived in Japan for training camps and also argued that it would be challenging to have the Olympic sports facilities available in September and October.