IOC confident of successful Tokyo Olympics despite widespread opposition

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 12, 2021, 09:22 PM(IST)

Tokyo Olympics Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday said it backed Japanese measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as was confident that the Tokyo Olympics would be a ‘historic’ event despite widespread public opposition.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday said it backed Japanese measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as was confident that the Tokyo Olympics would be a ‘historic’ event despite widespread public opposition.

The Games commence on July 23 but the host country is still grappling with the dreaded virus. Several polls show that majority of the Japanese population wants the quadrennial event cancelled or postponed again.

"We are now very much in an implementation phase with 78 days to go and fully concentrated on delivering the Games," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told during a virtual press conference.

"When the Games happen and the Japanese people are proud hosts of an event that will be a historic moment, I think I am very confident we will see public opinion hugely in favour of the Games."

ALSO READ: India's Neeraj Chopra says virus restrictions hit Olympic hopes

The virtual press conference, however, was ended abruptly after a protester, signed up as a journalist, asked a question before unfurling a banner that read “No to Olympics” and shouted profanities and “No Olympics anywhere” before being kicked out.

Meanwhile, Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas until the end of May as cases continue to rise. Even IOC president Thomas Bach’s visit to the country was postponed.

ALSO READ: Hesitant Nadal joins chorus of concern about Olympics

An opinion survey conducted from May 7-9 by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily showed 59% of respondents wanted the Games cancelled as opposed to 39% who said they should be held. "Postponement" was not offered as an option.

Another poll conducted at the weekend by TBS News found 65% wanted the Games cancelled or postponed again. More than 300,000 people have signed a petition to cancel the Games since it was launched about five days ago.

"In terms of Japan and Tokyo we understand the caution," Adams said. "We are fully in solidarity with them. People are very cautious. We have to fully trust Japanese authorities."

"There will be ups and downs (in public opinion).We have to take account of public opinion on a longer-term. As thing stand now we are moving full ahead. We continue to plan for full Games. That's the way it has to be for us."

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App