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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have finally begun, but this year’s scaled-down 開会式 (kaikaishiki, opening ceremony) saw 賞賛もあれば厳しい声もあった (shōsan mo areba, kibishii koe mo atta, voices of both praise and criticism).

With the デルタ株 (deruta kabu, delta variant) of the coronavirus ever-present, Emperor Naruhito found himself in a tough spot regarding his speech. Should he use the term 祝い (iwai, celebration) — which his grandfather Emperor Hirohito used in 1964 — to declare the Games open?

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