With three months to go, Tokyo Olympic chief Seiko Hashimoto reiterated Friday that canceling the games is off the menu, even as a state of emergency goes into effect in the capital.
The same day, the torch relay suffered its first total cancellation, with Okinawan organizers announcing that the leg in Miyakojima would not be run at all due to coronavirus concerns.
A day earlier, Tokyo Stadium hosted a rugby sevens exhibition, the first Olympic test event for a year, reports Kaz Nagatsuka, with four teams taking to the pitch, sans fans. Diving, water polo and BMX events, meanwhile, look set to be delayed, while artistic swimming and athletics exhibitions are still reportedly on schedule.
Also Thursday, training began for leaders who will manage the legions of games volunteers. As for fans, organizers hope to have a basic policy on whether Japan-based supporters can attend by the end of April, with a final decision likely much later.
But would fans come anyway? As the opposition CDP’s Jun Azumi pointed out to Bloomberg, the public is still not behind the games. “We’re at a point in time when we should seriously consider a cancellation or postponement,” he said, suggesting Japan should focus instead on vaccinating its people.