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As a controversy-plagued Olympics drew to a close over the weekend, Japan found itself battling a fifth COVID-19 wave with active case numbers twice as high as at any other time during the pandemic.

How much the Games contributed to those numbers is hard to quantify, but pushing through on hosting a major international tournament in the middle of a global emergency certainly undermined efforts to convey the seriousness of the situation to the general public, or to prevent people gathering and socializing.

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