• SHARE

Choose your Tokyo Olympic narrative. First, the case for the cancellation:

The Tokyo Games have lost 10,000 volunteers, more than 100 host towns have pulled out — and even Japan’s top medical adviser has said it’s “not normal” to host an Olympics in a pandemic.

If even the torch relay has to be pulled from roads due to safety fears — perhaps even in Japan’s least crowded prefecture — what hope is there that hundreds of events spread over weeks in the packed capital will go smoothly?

More than 60 Japanese companies have shelled out over $3 billion to sponsor the games, an event most Japanese now want canceled or delayed again. One sponsor has even called for the Olympics to be ditched (although commentator Kuni Miyake notes it hasn’t pulled its sponsorship).

Tokyo Olympics: Olympic Games at what cost? | TO THE POINT | DW NEWS
Tokyo Olympics: Olympic Games at what cost? | TO THE POINT | DW NEWS

Next, the case for carrying on regardless:

The Tokyo Games are unstoppable — no, they really are (as Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan explains).

And anyway, just look at who’s still publicly behind the event: the Olympic movement, obviously, but also the U.S., EU, China, et al. The icing on the cake is likely to come with a statement of support from G7 leaders.

The games will also be safe: About 95% of Japanese athletes are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19, while most other countries are also inoculating their teams. And it’s too late to stop now — look, the Aussie Spirit are already here!

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)