IOC, Japanese Govt Oppose Deferring Rescheduled Olympic Games

INTERNATIONAL  Olympic  Committee and the Japanese  Government are going ahead with the conduct of the long-awaited  Olympic Games from Friday, July 2021 to Sunday, 8 August 2021 in the island nation battling the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Japan’s defence minister Nobuo Kishi has announced that Games Organisers can call up military doctors and nurses from its Self-Defence Forces for helping the participants. The armed forces have started operating the vaccination centres in Tokyo and Osaka this week to help speed up Japan’s extremely slow vaccination process just two months ahead of the planned start of the postponed Olympics. According to Olympics organisers, up to 230 doctors as well as 310 nurses will be needed daily at the Games. Around 80 per cent of the required medical staff has been secured as of now. Meanwhile, the people of Japan remain split over the postponement of the multinational games during the pandemic. Several online opinion polls have shown the majority of the public is opposed to holding the Games this summer expressing concern about thousands of athletes and officials arriving in a country that has mostly remained closed to foreigners since last year. Doctors’ associations have protested holding the Games and investors have talked up the benefits of shelving them, and maverick businessmen such as Masayoshi Son have called for cancelling the games. The Tokyo Olympics will be held almost exactly a year after the Games were to commence this year. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday confirmed the new dates for the 32nd edition of the Games with details on handling the logistics necessitated by the decision. The Paralympics was also confirmed from August 24-September 5 next year. ‘’We have taken the decision after extensive discussions with all NOCs, International Federations (IFs) and the Tokyo Organising Committee. “This decision is in line with the many comments and requests we received. I hope you will appreciate that, given the many constraints, we had to take this decision without consulting you directly again,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement. A total of 11,091 athletes from 205 countries are expected to participate in 339 events in 33 sports (50 disciplines) with the motto: United by Emotion.

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