The latest petition aiming to cancel Tokyo Olympics 2021 has received over 200,000 signatures in the past few days, as the citizens fear the mega sporting event will turn into a mega-spread event.
Olympics 2021 is only a few days away, and the authorities need to answer how they will keep everyone safe from coronavirus. The Tokyo Olympics was postponed once in 2020 due to the rise of covid-19 and was set to be hosted in 2021 summers. However, the coronavirus threat is still not over, and public concerns are on the rise in regard to the spread of the virus in such a crowded event. The volunteers, officials, audience, and athletes are all at risk of virus spread, giving rise to the “Stop Tokyo Olympics” campaign.
A petition that has filed over 200,000 signatures is on the round among the Japanese public, while massive rallies are being held at the event venues. The protest is about terminating Tokyo Olympics in order to protect everyone from the spread of coronavirus. The public fears that the massive sports event will also increase the spread of coronavirus. The world is battling the fourth wave of COVID-19 and has already alerted people to maintain social distancing as the coronavirus variants are far more dangerous than the original virus. The sluggish vaccination campaigns are also not sufficient for everyone as the Japanese government extends lockdowns in Tokyo and the other three areas until July end. However, the games are due to open on July 23.
Kenji Utsunomiya, the organizer for the “Stop Tokyo Olympics.” wrote on his website, “We strongly call for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus and protection of lives and livelihood by using available resources to stop the Olympics.” Kenji Utsunomiya is a lawyer who has also run for Tokyo governor several times.
The organizers, on the other side, are determined to go ahead with hosting Olympics 2021. They say the games will go as planned while managing the crowd, athletes, and officials under Covid-19 protocols. Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech SE from Germany have agreed to provide vaccines for all participants in the Games.
While the officials and Keny Utsunomiya were battling for their respective causes, over 200,000 people have already agreed that the pandemic should stop. The protests at the event venue have banners of “NO OLYMPICS” kept outside for demonstration. While some believe that the Olympics should be canceled completely, others agree with the authorities to lead a well-organized event where everything is taken care of by the authorities. However,
Utsunomiya has his supporters skeptical about the authorities’ responsibilities and wants to shut down the Olympics completely. As the government is determined to host the games this summer, the citizens will have to wait until they learn about the arrangements made by the authorities at the time of the event.