Despite the upsurge in coronavirus infections and persistent public skepticism in Japan, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has been firm in indicating that she sees "no scenario" that could lead to a cancellation of the Olympics in 2021 (July 23 - August 8).
In an interview this Tuesday with AFP.
Yuriko Koike warns that the fate of the Tokyo Games, initially slated for the summer of 2020, will have an impact on future Olympic events, including the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.
“Citizens of the world see the Tokyo Games as a symbol that humanity will have defeated the coronavirus, which will lead to the Beijing Winter Games and then the Paris Games,” she said.
If Tokyo does not make every effort to fight the coronavirus, what will happen to Paris in four years?
I think we have to make Tokyo a success first, otherwise it will have a serious impact on Paris.
Japanese public opinion seems out of step with the confident and optimistic tone of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo 2020 organizers and Japanese officials, however.
A poll published on Tuesday by the public broadcaster NHK found that only 27% of those polled were in favor of holding the Games next summer, 32% wanting their cancellation and 31% preferring a further postponement.
Strong increase in infections
"I am convinced that people will regain hope once the measures against the coronavirus are firmly implemented," said the governor.
The recent launch of vaccination campaigns in certain countries has strengthened the confidence of the organizers of the Olympic Games even if vaccination will not be compulsory for athletes or spectators.
Japan has been relatively spared so far with less than 2,600 deaths to date since the start of the pandemic, but there is a sharp rise in infections.
On Monday evening, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stepped up to urge his compatriots to reconsider their travel plans during the year-end period.
He even ordered the suspension of a program to promote domestic tourism.
Hence the growing concern of the population.