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Japanese Residents Demand Cancellation of Olympics


Japanese Residents Demand Cancellation of Olympics

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Despite the concentrated efforts of many developed nations to extensively immunize their populations against COVID-19 and bring an end to the global health crisis, Japan has been experiencing a notably sluggish vaccination campaign. A significant portion of the country remains under a state of emergency, with daily COVID-19 cases reaching as high as 6,000 in recent weeks. The country’s local authorities are struggling to efficiently distribute vaccines, while doses sit idle in freezers. Given these pressing health challenges, the Tokyo Olympics are not a top priority for numerous Japanese citizens.

In a survey conducted by the Japanese news organization Asahi Shimbun among 1,500 individuals, 83% advocated for either postponing or scrapping the Tokyo Olympics entirely. Another query in the survey revealed that 73% of respondents lacked confidence in the event’s safety, despite reassurances from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Japanese citizens have initiated protests and a petition opposing the Olympics in a bid to voice their concerns on the matter. Demonstrations and gatherings have emerged on Tokyo’s streets, with protestors displaying signs featuring messages such as “Olympics harm the vulnerable” and “prioritize people’s lives over the Games.” On the platform, more than 370,000 Japanese citizens have signed a petition urging the government to call off the Olympics. Supporting these sentiments are Japanese healthcare professionals, with 6,000 primary care doctors recently sending a cautionary letter to Prime Minister Suga, warning that hosting the Games could overwhelm hospitals with COVID-19 cases.

Suga, on his end, has started to dampen his enthusiasm for the Games, emphasizing that he would never prioritize the Olympics over the safety of his constituents. “My foremost concern has been shielding the lives and well-being of the Japanese populace. We must initially contain the virus,” he remarked.

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