In a conversation that appeared in the August issue of the monthly magazine Hanada and was reported by the Mainichi Shimbun, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that parties "who have been criticized by some as anti-Japan" are now "strongly opposing staging the Olympics."

Abe's interlocutor, former news presenter Yoshiko Sakurai, is a well-known conservative pundit, and Abe cited two bete noire of the Japanese right, the Asahi Shimbun and the Japanese Communist Party, as leading the protest movement against the Olympics.

Given the context, Abe's comment gave the impression that he was talking in a bubble for a select audience, making the protest movement out to be one centered on a desire to place Japan in an unfavorable light. Though Sakurai mentioned that opposition parties expressed fear about the Olympics exacerbating the spread of COVID-19, both she and Abe chalked it up to politics, ignoring the fact that a good portion of the public is against the games for the same reason.