7/23 Fukushima, The Pandemic & Olympics On The Opening Of the Olympics
July 23 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PST free
The plans by the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese Suga government to go ahead with the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic could create a new virus according to Japanese scientists. It also takes place with the government threatening to release over 1 million tons of radioactive water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean and the failure to remove the melted nuclear rods from the reactor 10 years after the meltdown.
This panel and discussion will look at the business and corruption of the Olympics, and how it now could lead to a health-care disaster as Japanese hospitals are already overloaded with Covid patients. Even the health-care and doctors union is demanding that the Olympics be canceled.
Professor Geoge Wright, An expert on the history of the Olympics
Tsukuru Fors, Pacific Asian Nuclear-Free Peace Alliance
Seto Tadashi, International Secretary/Doro Chiba Support International Committee
Chizu Hamada, NoNukes Action Committee
Louis Carlet, Tokyo General Union Founder of TOZEN & Teacher
Sponsored by No Nukes Action
6/11 STOP The Criminal Insanity Of Holding The Tokyo Olympics In The Middle Of A Pandemic-Lives Over Profits!
Japan doctors union warns games could lead to 'Tokyo Olympic' virus strain
6/11 SF Rally At SF Japanese Consulate
Speak Out On
Friday June 11, 2021 3:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
Sponsored by No Nukes Action
The plan by the International Olympics Committee IOC and Japanese government to go ahead with the Tokyo Olympics in the middle of a global Covid Pandemic is a threat to not only the people of Japan but the world. Despite the desperate pleas of doctors and many healthcare workers in Japan who are overloaded with Covid patients, the government has said it doesn’t matter what they or the people of Japan think about the Olympics.
Over 80% of the people oppose having the Olympics in the midst of a full scale pandemic but the IOC and Japan government with the support of Secretary of State Blinken and the the Biden administration could care less. The profits for NBC and the media companies come first for the IOC and the Japanese government.
It is the people be damned for these politicians, governments and the IOC. Japanese medical doctors are even warning of a possible Tokyo Olympic virus strain coming out of these events which will bring tens of thousands of people from around the world to Japan for the Olympics.
The Suga Japanese government is also planning to restart more nuclear plants and also release over a million tons of radioactive water from Fukushima where the burned nuclear reactor plants continue to leak radioactive material more than ten years after the melt-downs.
Nuclear clean-up workers including workers from overseas and other workers continue to get contaminated with no proper health and safety education and tens of thousands of bags of radioactive waste continue to remain scattered throughout the prefecture with no place to go. The government is also seeking to spread the contaminated waste throughout Japan in road construction and other projects.
The denialism of the dangers of having the Olympics in Japan is directly connected to the denialism of the dangers of Fukushima, the denialism of the Comfort Women and the Japanese government’s denialism during the 2nd World War that they could not lose the war. This effort to deny the present reality is connected historically to the rulers of Japan and it has led to the cost of millions of lives.
No Nukes Action asks you to join us and speak out to demand the cancellation of the Olympics, the halt to re-opening Japan’s nuclear plants and defense of the Fukushima people. We oppose as well the militarization of Asia supported by the US and Biden along with Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi. Thiis includes the building of the new Haneko base in Okinawa.
The Okinawan residents continued to be terrorized by US military jets and helicopters and the US is even training with these aircraft in the center of Tokyo despite the great dangers to the people of Tokyo.
Physical distancing and masks for all participants at action
Speak-out In Stop The Japan Olympics In The Middle Of Covid Pandemic
Defense of the Residents of Fukushima
Don’t Dump The Radioactive Water In The Pacific Ocean and Stop The Nukes
Friday June 11, 2021 3PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
No Nukes Action
EDITORIAL: Prime Minister Suga, please call off the Olympics this summer
May 26, 2021 at 14:14 JST
The Olympic Rings monument casts a shadow in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on May 9. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be brought under control, rendering it inevitable that the government will have to declare another extension of the state of emergency currently covering Tokyo and other prefectures.
It is simply beyond reason to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer.
The central government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and Olympic officials are forging ahead relentlessly, refusing to address the public's perfectly legitimate questions and concerns. Naturally, people's distrust and apprehension are growing.
We demand that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga evaluate the situation calmly and objectively, and decide against holding the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.
PEOPLE’S LIVES AND HEALTH MUST COME FIRST
A truly astounding remark was made last week by John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee.
During a news conference, Coates stated his view that the Games can be held under a state of emergency.
But the issue was not just about staging the event without incident. Coates' thinking was clearly at odds with popular sentiment in Japan, and his attitude of saying "yes" to the Games without presenting any supporting evidence served only to remind us anew of the IOC's self-righteousness.
Canceling the Olympics is certainly best avoided, not only for the sake of athletes who have trained hard for the Games, but also for the many people who have made all sorts of preparations for the event.
But the foremost priority must lie on maintaining a basic structure that protects the lives, health and livelihoods of citizens. The Olympics must never be allowed to invite a situation that threatens this structure.
Our biggest fear, needless to say, concerns the Games' impact on the health of citizens.
There is no guarantee that the infections will be brought under control in the days ahead. In fact, the emergence of COVID-19 variants has made the situation even more alarming.
Although mass inoculations have begun, the recipients are still limited to seniors, and Japan certainly won't be acquiring a herd immunity anytime soon.
Against this backdrop, more than 90,000 athletes and Olympic-related personnel will be entering Japan. And even if there won't be any spectators at the Games, there will be far more than one hundred of thousands of people coming together, if volunteers are added to the equation.
All these people will go home when the Games are over. There is no discounting the possibility that after virus carriers from around the world have converged in Japan, the virus will then scatter to all over the world.
The IOC and the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee say they will beat the odds with "testing and isolation," stressing the success of this approach with many international competitions in the past.
But none can match up to the Olympics in scale.
GAMBLING IS NOT PERMITTED
It may be possible to control most of the movements of athletes and Games officials. But where everyone else is concerned, the success is bound to hinge largely on their readiness to practice self-restraint.
However, the details of the rules they are to observe have yet to be worked out, which means there will be no time for rehearsals before the Games.
The situation that awaits will be anything but easy, not to mention that the organizers must also deal with Tokyo's brutal heat in summer, which was a huge concern even before the pandemic struck.
The organizing committee claims to have more or less found a way to secure health care personnel for the Olympics.
But what about hospital beds for emergencies?
The governors of prefectures around Tokyo, where the health care system is already severely strained, have all stated clearly that they will not be in a position to provide "priority beds" for Olympic-related patients.
Of course. It is the responsibility of every prefectural governor to protect their citizens.
The present situation is nowhere close to making anyone feel safe, and that's the unfortunate reality.
Of course, there is always the possibility of everything turning out fine. But staging the Olympics requires multiple layers of risk-minimizing preparations that must function properly.
If problems arise because of hasty decisions, made even though the preparations were known to be insufficient, who should, or can, take responsibility?
The organizers must understand that gambling is not an option.
Many citizens share this awareness, and an Asahi Shimbun survey this month found only 14 percent of respondents in favor of going ahead with the Olympics this summer.
The number also suggests the public's deepening skepticism about the merits of hosting the Olympics.
The Games are not just for deciding which athletes are No. 1 in the world in their respective fields.
Despite all kinds of questions that have been raised about this quadrennial sporting extravaganza, ranging from its over-bloated scale to excessive commercialism, the event still continued to receive support because of the Olympic spirit's popular appeal.
The Olympic Charter calls for equal opportunities, friendship, solidarity, fair play and mutual understanding, and advocates the establishment of a society that upholds human dignity.
WHERE DID OLYMPIC SPIRIT GO?
But what is the present reality?
The pandemic has prevented some athletes from competing in qualifiers. A huge gap exists between countries where progress has been made in mass inoculations and those where it hasn't, obviously affecting athletes' training and performances.
For the Tokyo Olympics, athletes' movements in the Olympic Village will be restricted, rendering it difficult for them to mix with local citizens as was hoped for by the local governments that volunteered to host pre-Olympic training camps.
Clearly, parts of the Olympic Charter have become a dead letter.
What meaning is there in holding the Olympics when people's activities are being restricted and their daily lives have become difficult?
In our editorials, we have repeatedly asked the central and metropolitan governments and the Olympic organizing committee to explain, but none has come forward to respond to our satisfaction.
Furthermore, the slogan of "compact, post-disaster reconstruction Olympics," created by the Japanese government at the time of the bidding, was cast aside along the way and replaced by "Olympics to prove mankind's triumph over COVID-19."
But now that this, too, is untenable, the Tokyo Olympics are becoming a tool for the Suga administration to remain in power and win the next election.
The prime minister is reportedly determined to proceed with the Games, no matter what the Japanese people have to say.
Come to think of it, what are the Olympic Games, after all? If the highly divisive Tokyo Olympics are staged without the public's blessing, what will have been gained and lost?
Suga must mull all this over, and the same goes for Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Tokyo Olympic organizing committee President Seiko Hashimoto, and all senior members of the committee.
--The Asahi Shimbun, May 26
COVID-19 medical care in Osaka stretched to 'natural-disaster levels': hospital chief
May 7, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
Yukio Nishiguchi, head of Osaka City Juso Hospital in Yodogawa Ward, Osaka, is seen speaking to the Mainichi Shimbun on May 6, 2021. (Mainichi/Satoshi Hishida)
OSAKA -- Since mid-April, Osaka Prefecture's patients with serious COVID-19 symptoms have outnumbered available hospital beds for them, thereby forcing beds for patients with mild or moderate cases to be used to care for individuals in greater danger.
Osaka City Juso Hospital in the west Japan city's Yodogawa Ward has 70 beds for moderate COVID-19 cases. Its manager, 64-year-old Yukio Nishiguchi, described the situation on the ground: "We've had cases where the disease has taken a sudden turn, and we've not been able to get people to hospitals with beds for seriously ill patients in time. I want people to understand this is a natural-disaster level situation where they can't always receive necessary treatment."
In May 2020, the hospital became the first in the country to become a coronavirus-specialist facility with 90 beds for COVID-19 patients with moderate symptoms. By May 6, 2021, it had accepted around 1,100 coronavirus patients for treatment in about a year. When infection numbers fell in July 2020, the hospital restarted ordinary medical services, and now it runs them alongside its coronavirus outlay.
Nishiguchi said that in the current "fourth wave" of infections in which a U.K. variant is spreading, trends around severe cases differ from before. Relatively young patients in their 30s and 40s are also seriously suffering from COVID-19, and some people's symptoms are suddenly worsening after initially improving. "A patient in their 40s who we planned to discharge the following day suddenly became much sicker, and they were moved to a ward for serious cases. Things can change so quickly, so we can't afford any complacency," Nishiguchi explained.
He also cited the example of a patient who died; they had wanted the use of a ventilator, but their condition deteriorated so rapidly that staff weren't able to administer it in time. Nishiguchi said with a sense of regret, "Perhaps if we'd been able to get them the appropriate treatment at an early stage, the result might have been different."
Yukio Nishiguchi, head of Osaka City Juso Hospital in Yodogawa Ward, Osaka, is seen on May 6, 2021. (Mainichi/Satoshi Hishida)
Pressure on hospital bed availability is becoming more intense. In early April, the hospital was able to transfer to other hospitals in the evening patients who developed serious symptoms on the morning of the same day, but from mid-April shortages of beds for severe cases means it now has to sequentially choose the most serious cases to transfer.
The hospital also has no intensive care units, and appropriate care can't be given while patients are on ventilators, meaning that its infrastructure for supplying large volumes of oxygen is given over to treating seriously ill patients who cannot be transferred to other hospitals.
As of the morning of May 6, more than half of its currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients -- 32 of 62 people -- needed to be supplied with oxygen. Among them, seven to eight people have symptoms consistent with serious COVID-19 that mean they need large amounts of oxygen supplied, among other treatment. They are all reportedly waiting to be moved to wards for seriously ill patients.
Additionally, the emergence of patients who have severe COVID-19 symptoms when they are hospitalized has reportedly become a hallmark of the fourth wave of infections. Nishiguchi said, "In our CT scans to evaluate how serious a patient's condition is, we're seeing some people whose lungs are already coming up completely white when they're being admitted to hospital." The rate of transfer to beds for seriously ill patients has also risen; while it was a maximum of about 15% during the third wave, it reached around 20% in April.
During the "Golden Week" holiday between April 29 and May 5, 32 more patients were admitted to the hospital, and in the latter half of the holiday between May 3 and 5, an additional doctor was put on call -- more than during a normal holiday.
Nishiguchi sees hard times ahead: "At the end of the third wave, patients aged 70 or older accounted for more than 70% of patients admitted. Now it's about 60%, so perhaps infections among older people are going to spread again. It seems we're still a while off from an end to this."
He also called on people to take thorough infection prevention measures, saying, "I want people to imagine that this is like it is during a natural disaster when people want to be hospitalized but can't be, and for them to change the way they behave."
(Japanese original by Satoshi Kondo, Osaka Science & Environment News Department)
COVID-19 front-line doctors at Tokyo hospital describe hellish working conditions
June 1, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital is seen in this photo taken on May 11, 2021, in the capital's Bunkyo Ward. (Mainichi/Masahiro Sakai)
TOKYO -- The Mainichi Shimbun reported in May how doctors at a metropolitan government-run hospital designated for infectious disease care had been forced to work overtime far above the "death by overwork" recognition threshold (an average of 80 hours a month over multiple months) to respond to COVID-19 patients.
Hearing testimony from medical professionals at the hospital, we shed light on the developments that led to such harsh working conditions.
Komagome Hospital in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward has actively engaged in caring for coronavirus patients since it accepted a Japanese national who returned from Wuhan, China, in January last year after they tested positive for the virus.
The Mainichi Shimbun earlier reported following a freedom-of-information request with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government that a doctor at the hospital's infectious disease department worked a total of 1,180 hours of overtime over four months -- May, November, December 2020 and January this year.
Overtime posted by the four full-time doctors at the department ranged from 169 to 327 hours in the pay period for the month of May 2020, four to 314 hours for the month of November, 93 to 282 hours for the month of December and 136 to 257 hours for the month of January 2021. Every month, at least one doctor worked more than 200 hours of overtime.
Komagome Hospital also serves as a regional cancer center that works with medical institutions in the area and where specialized cancer treatment is available. The hospital therefore had to balance between its regular services such as accepting cancer patients whose conditions would be challenging for other hospitals and caring for COVID-19 patients. However, there was no full support system to offset the workload of the infectious disease department even after the first state of emergency was declared in spring last year.
There was also little support from other departments even when infections were spreading, and most of the time the department's full-time doctors took care of adjusting patients' hospitalization and on-call duties. They were on call as many as 10 times a month and often worked 36 hours straight.
A support system was only established around December last year when the third wave of infections was hitting Tokyo. Several doctors from other departments took turns and pitched in every two weeks. At that point, however, the doctors at the infectious disease department were already showing signs of depression, as well as physical and mental exhaustion. The support came too late.
One of the reasons the hospital was reluctant to send help to the department was circumstances unique to infectious disease treatment. If doctors or nurses who come in contact with patients make a mistake when putting on or removing protective gear, it could spread the virus.
As a measure to prevent in-hospital infections, Komagome Hospital initially intended to limit medical workers who would engage in COVID-19 treatment. Furthermore, because helping out the infectious disease department was not a job instruction but a request, few doctors or nurses proactively stepped in to support.
The workload was most severe during times when the graph showed new infection numbers climb steeply toward the peak during periods when infections were spreading, which would later come to be called "waves" of infections.
During those times, the hospital was receiving endless calls from the metropolitan government's task force in charge of adjusting COVID-19 patients' hospitalization slots, and the doctors were scrambling to learn the conditions of newly admitted patients referred to the hospital one after another while also providing them with treatment. The doctors weren't able to go home until midnight even on days when they were not on call.
It took about two weeks for supporting doctors or nurses from other departments to actually be stationed at the infectious disease department, as they needed to prepare for handing their own patients over to their co-workers. The doctors recall that the waiting period was particularly tough.
When infection numbers dropped temporarily, those doctors and nurses from other departments went back to their workplaces and came back again when infections resurged. This cycle was repeated multiple times. If some of them had remained at the infectious disease department, it could have helped reduce overtime and eased the burden on each doctor.
COVID-19 treatment is the same as responding to a disaster, and it's not something only a certain group, such as the infectious disease department of one medical institution, can handle. Doctors and nurses were able to work tirelessly in the beginning, driven by their sense of mission, but that can only take them so far as the pandemic prolongs. The doctors asked authorities to think about how medical professionals could continue working without sacrificing their physical and mental well-being.
Prioritizing profit over life, Tokyo Olympics are increasingly dangerous
Japan is barely able to contain its COVID-19 outbreak, but it still wants to invite more than 100,000 to the Olympic Games
Posted on : May.28,2021 16:50 KST Modified on : May.28,2021 16:50 KST
A banner for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is pictured in downtown Tokyo. (Reuters/Yonhap News)
As of Thursday, there were 57 days left until the Tokyo Olympics. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have already been delayed by one year — a first in the Olympic Games history — and they’re now facing another crisis. With COVID-19 sweeping the world, the international festival of the Olympics has turned into a global headache.
At the moment, Japan is barely able to contain its COVID-19 outbreak. Ten areas in the country, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido, are in an “emergency situation,” representing the toughest level of quarantine measures. Even so, Japan has been unable to stop the infection from spreading. Each day, it’s reporting 4,000-5,000 new cases.
90% of those new cases represent viral variants. Even more seriously, the number of patients in critical condition topped a thousand this month and has now reached 1,300, the largest number since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s becoming more common for more than a hundred deaths to be reported in a single day.
Each day, Japan’s hospitals face a desperate shortage of hospital beds and medical workers. Only 5.2% of the total population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, just half of the global average of 9.9%. That’s the lowest level among member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Amid these circumstances, it’s hardly surprising that 83% of Japanese who responded to a poll by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper were opposed to holding the Olympics and said that human lives be prioritized.
Experts think the Olympics could be deadly if held during the pandemic. At least 90,000 coaches and athletes from around the world would have to enter Japan for the Olympics. When volunteers are included, more than 100,000 people would be occupying the same space.
July and August, when the Olympics and Paralympics are scheduled to be held, are the hottest and muggiest time of the year in Tokyo. There are too many factors that complicate efforts to implement strict control measures. There are even concerns that the Olympics could become an incubator for the coronavirus.
Despite the surge of demand both inside and outside of Japan for the Olympics to be called off, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government doggedly insist that the Olympics can be held safely.
“The Olympic steamroller rumbles forward. There are three main reasons: money, money, and money,” an Olympic scholar wrote in a guest essay for the New York Times.
The IOC is slated to make US$2.65 billion from the Tokyo Olympics for selling rights to broadcast the games, its primary source of income. NBC, the US broadcaster that holds the rights, would then profit immensely from advertising during the games.
If the Olympics are canceled, the IOC would lose income from selling the rights, while NBC would have to cough up the money it’s been paid for scheduled commercials.
Sources with the IOC have said the games will go ahead even if Japanese cities remain in an emergency situation, and even if the Japanese Prime Minister himself asks for a cancellation. Such remarks are extremely dangerous.
In an editorial, the Asahi Shimbun criticized the “IOC’s self-righteousness.”
The financial issue is also important for Japan. The question isn’t about how much money Japan can make, but how much it can reduce its losses.
Delaying the Olympics raised the cost of hosting the games to 1.64 trillion yen (US$14.96 billion). Holding a no-frills Olympics would leave Japan around US$900 million in the hole. Canceling them altogether would probably cost Japan US$3.7 billion in economic damage. The penalties that Japan would owe the IOC for backing out of the games are another wrinkle.
Another factor causing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to hesitate is the major political fallout his cabinet would face. If the Japanese government has to call off the Olympics because it failed to keep COVID-19 in check, Suga will likely be held to blame.
The situation in Japan forces us to confront the steadily growing precariousness of “mega events.” Our illusions about huge commercial events such as the Olympics and World Cup have been collapsing for some time now.
These events require huge budgets, but it’s unclear how much they actually benefit the host country’s image or economy. What is clear is that such events funnel money into international sporting organizations, the media and corporations.
These mega events are often used for political purposes, such as propping up regimes. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, is a vivid example of how dangerous the Olympics can be.
Nowadays, the Japanese are frequently asking who the Olympics are for. I think someone ought to answer that question.
By Kim So-youn, Tokyo correspondent
IOC treating Japan 'like its colony': opposition party leader slams executives "treating Japan like a colony of the IOC empire."
May 28, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)
Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)
TOKYO -- Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii slammed a series of comments from International Olympic Committee (IOC) executives rejecting the possibility of canceling the Tokyo Games, saying that they are "treating Japan like a colony of the IOC empire."
The opposition party leader's anger came following IOC Vice President John Coates's remark that the Tokyo Olympics would go ahead even if Japan was under a coronavirus state of emergency. Furthermore, in an interview with Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, which hit the stands on May 27, the IOC's longest-serving member Dick Pound of Canada insisted that even if Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wanted the games to be canceled, it would be nothing but a personal opinion, and that the games would go ahead.
Speaking at a news conference on the same day, Shii said, "Those comments are out of line and we cannot overlook them. ... They indicate that holding the Olympics has priority over Japanese people's lives." He condemned the IOC, saying, "Who on earth do they think they are? What gives them the authority to say such things? Those comments could lead to an infringement on Japan's sovereignty."
(Japanese original by Shu Furukawa, Political News Department)
Japan doctors union warns games could lead to 'Tokyo Olympic' virus strain
Medical staff work at a hospital treating COVID-19 patients in Yokohama. A doctors union has said that holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer could lead to the development of a new "Olympic" strain of the coronavirus. | REUTERS
BY ROCKY SWIFT AND ELAINE LIES
May 27, 2021
The head of a doctors union in Japan warned Thursday that holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, with tens of thousands of people gathered from around the world, could lead to the development of a new “Olympic” strain of the coronavirus.
Although Japan has repeatedly pledged to hold a “safe and secure” 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after a yearlong postponement, it is struggling to contain a fourth wave of the pandemic and preparing to extend a COVID-19 state of emergency that covers much of the country.
Japanese officials, Olympics organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have all vowed the games will go ahead, albeit under strict virus prevention measures. Foreign spectators have already been banned, and a decision on domestic audiences is expected next month.
But even with these steps in place, worries remain about the influx of athletes and officials into Japan — where the vaccination process remains glacially slow and just over 5% of the population have been inoculated.
With people from over 200 nations and territories set to arrive in Tokyo, it will be dangerous to host the games in July, said Naoto Ueyama, head of the Japan Doctors Union.
“All of the different mutated strains of the virus that exist in different places will be concentrated and gathering here in Tokyo. We cannot deny the possibility of even a new strain of the virus potentially emerging after the Olympics,” he told a news conference.
“If such a situation were to arise, it could even mean a Tokyo Olympic strain of the virus being named in this way, which would be a huge tragedy and something that would be the target of criticism, even for 100 years.”
Protesters opposed to Japan going ahead with hosting the Olympics this summer hold banners denouncing requests by the government for the dispatch of doctors and nurses to help out with the games, during a protest in Tokyo last week. | REUTERS
The Asahi Shimbun, an official partner of the Tokyo Olympics,
carried an editorial on Wednesdayurging for the games be cancelled, but former IOC vice president Dick Pound said later in the day the sports extravaganza should and would go ahead.
The government is currently preparing to extend a state of emergency across much of the nation, originally set to be lifted on May 31, most likely well into June, officials have said, just weeks before the games are set to open on July 23.
But IOC member John Coates has said the Olympics could be held even under a state of emergency, an opinion Ueyama said was infuriating.
“In regards to these statements, the people of Japan are indeed holding great anger towards this, and this is even more the case for health care and medical professionals,” Ueyama said.
Japan’s medical system is currently under extreme stress and officials in some areas worry about potential additional strains from the games. In hard-hit Osaka, for example, 96% of the 348 hospital beds reserved for serious COVID-19 cases were in use last week.
Earlier this week the United States advised against travel to Japan, but Olympics organizers have said this will not affect the games. The White House on Wednesday said it had been assured by the Japanese government that it would keep in close contact about concerns over the Olympics.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Japan would continue making every effort to control the virus irrespective of the Olympics.
In a sign of how uncertain the situation remains, however, Australia’s major sports leagues and Olympic hopefuls were left scrambling Thursday to make contingency plans after authorities announced a seven-day lockdown in the southern state of Victoria, to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.
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Added to the calendar on Tuesday Jul 6th, 2021 9:45 AM