‘Stop Tokyo Olympics’ Petition With Over 350,000 Signatures Submitted to Organizers
The 2021 Tokyo Games are set to begin July 23, but a newly submitted petition signed by hundreds of thousands of people is aiming to stop it from happening.
The "Stop Tokyo Olympics" online petition was signed by 351,868 concerned Japanese citizens and more was submitted to local organizers, the International Olympic Committee and others. The reason why is because Tokyo and other areas are under a state of emergency due to an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases according to WGNO.com.
The petition was drafted by lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya, who says while he is surprised by the number of signatures the petition received in only nine days, he feels the petition needed a lot more signatures, and that it's probably already too late.
From WGNO.com -
"I think that the media coverage puts a lot of pressure on the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the organizing committee. However, in terms of the numbers, I think that tens of millions of signatures are really necessary."
Utsunomiya's concerns are valid. He says that hosting the Olympics in Tokyo will tie up medical services from the general public, which is a growing concern as cases rise in Japan where only 2% of the population has received the vaccine.
Obviously another big concern has to do with 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from around the world entering Japan, a country that has had it's boarders closed for over a year.
The International Olympic Committee does have numerous safety plans in place, such as isolation bubbles, repeat testing for athletes, judges, staff, sponsors, and media, and they say they are confident they can hold the games safely.
However, we're talking about tens of thousands of people. With these kinds of numbers it seems quite reasonable that something can easily go wrong.
To date, the conservative but official report is that Japan has spent $15.4 billion to organize the Olympics in Tokyo, and many people say the amount is realistically twice that. Given this amount of money already spent, is it crazy to think that Japan's government in "at all cost" mode, and willing to cut some corners?
Also of note is that the prefectures (districts overseen by the Japanese government) of Ibaraki, Kanagawa, and Chiba near Tokyo have reportedly said they "will not be able to treat Olympic participants who fall ill" according to WGNO.com.
Here in the U.S. the main concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been the strain on the healthcare system. Overwhelming the healthcare system is exactly what many in Japan are trying to avoid as well.
Read more at WGNO.com.