New challenges await Japan after the Olympics

The organizers of the Olympic Games, as expected, emphasize that the Games have given people moments of hope and joy, as well as no widespread outbreaks of the coronavirus.

“These Olympics have strongly demonstrated the ability of sport to unite,” Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told a news conference after the big event.

However, Japan will need more time to assess the progress of the controversial games and deal with new Covid-19 outbreaks in Tokyo and elsewhere in the country.

The newspaper Asahi Shimbun, which called for their cancellation even before the Olympics, even though it is among its sponsors, stressed that the $ 15 billion (€ 12.7 billion) event risked human lives.

“People’s lives were risked, which made the situation worse,” the newspaper said in a commentary on Monday.

The results of a poll conducted by the newspaper in the last two days of the Olympic Games show that 56% of the Japanese population surveyed support the course of the Games, but 32% oppose it. Only 32% of the respondents admitted that they thought the games were safe, but 54% of the respondents were not convinced by the security measures implemented.

Last year’s Olympic Games were postponed due to a pandemic, but were severely restricted in Tokyo this summer, such as face masks, fans not allowed in the venues for the first time in history, athletes not being allowed to cheer and embrace, and athletes not being allowed to leave the Olympics. village and were subject to other restrictions.

When the Games kicked off on July 23, the Japanese seemed to have changed their rejection: people gathered at the Olympic Stadium to watch fireworks from a distance in honor of the opening of the Games, and many ignored the agreement not to compete on public roads and in shops. Olympic souvenirs were redeemed.

In their comments on Monday, Japanese newspapers praised the athletes, who, despite the postponement of the Games and many restrictions, showed great performance, broke Olympic and world records, as well as made strong new entries, such as skateboarding and surfing, which are included in the Olympic program. for the first time.

Unfortunately, for many athletes, the Olympic Games ended without even starting, because before going to Tokyo or even already there, they were diagnosed with Covid-19.

Japanese public resistance to the Olympics was dampened by the success of the home athletes, who won 27 gold medals, the best performance of Japan at the Summer Olympics. Japanese athletes also won 14 silver medals and 17 bronze awards.


During the Olympic Games in Tokyo and in many parts of the country, a state of emergency has been declared due to the rising incidence of Covid-19.

In Japan, only a third of the country’s population has completed vaccination against Covid-19, but the new and most contagious strain of the virus delta is spreading more and more rapidly.

The pandemic and the post-Olympic situation will also affect the political future of Japanese Prime Minister Josihide Suga following the October parliamentary elections.

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