Tokyo prepares to host “corona” Olympics

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The currency is now «With corona with corona» (in Japanese English). Since there is little chance that the Covid-19 pandemic will be over by July 2021, we will have to organize the Olympic Games next year in Tokyo “With the corona”. On Friday officially began in the Japanese capital preparations for health protocols to be defined and put in place. “Our goal is for the coronavirus to be under control” so that everyone can enjoy the Olympics with virus, explained the president of the team responsible for coordinating this titanic task, Kazuhiro Sugita (79 years). Expression “under control” is very common when it comes to the Olympic Games: it had already been employed in 2013 by Prime Minister Abe to describe the situation at the devastated Fukushima power station in order to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to choose Tokyo for 2020.

So that these Olympics, postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19, can actually take place next year, “It is essential, for the safety of the participants, to establish strict sanitary rules. The idea is to have a schematic diagram ready by the end of the year ”a government official told a few reporters, acknowledging that there are countless problems.

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“Quarantine exemption”

Three main categories of participants have already been defined for which the protocols will differ: first the athletes and those who supervise them, then the organizers, personalities, volunteers and the media and finally the spectators. All health measures must be precisely codified for all activities of each person (arrival in Japan, medical follow-up, travel, meals, events, stay in the Olympic village, etc.). Athletes and their coaches should be given special treatment, but not complete freedom. “The exemption from quarantine for athletes is one of the points under discussion, given the need to maintain their physical condition, but it is not yet decided”, indicates the official. Even if they were not ultimately obliged to remain locked up for fifteen days after their arrival in Japan, athletes will at least be subject to travel restrictions.

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The biggest puzzle is in fact not so much for the organizing committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as for the Ministry of Health, already criticized for the slowness of decisions in the face of the virus and some blunders, and for the immigration services agency, whose strategy so far has been to shut down the country. However, the importance given to the Olympic Games by the government of resigning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will accelerate the reopening of borders. It remains to be seen from when, for whom, from which country and in what order?

“As it stands, the government is refusing entry of foreigners to Japan from 159 countries, so if it remained that way, it is clear that the Olympics could not be held. We will discuss precisely this issue at the next coordination meeting, the date of which has not been fixed ”, indicates the official. Taking into account the testing capacities at airports and other factors, the initial target of 10 million visitors (Japanese and foreign) to Tokyo during the Olympic Games is already illusory and the spectator level is at risk. to be reduced for the tests, even if the camera seems excluded.


Karyn Nishimura à Tokyo

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