Now that that Yoshiro Mori business has been put to bed, Japan appears to be really getting down to the business of preparing for an important international event … which might nor might not take place this summer.
First up, the torch relay, which kicks off on March 25 in Fukushima Prefecture. Its success is going to require a localized and flexible approach, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said at a new conference on Thursday. And social distancing among spectators along the route is a must.
Next, there’s the important matter of whether overseas spectators will be allowed to attend the games (and make use of all those facilities and services specially prepared for them). On Wednesday, Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said the IOC wanted the decision made “as late as possible, but as early as needed.” In other words, late April. In response to that, Tokyo came back with “How about March 24?”
Then there’s the business of a making sure that the visiting athletes and their entourages don’t bring fresh infections. And that requires a location-tracking/contract-tracing smartphone app. It might cost a fair penny, say around ¥7.3 billion? And did we fail to mention that it’s not yet known where Japan is going to welcome foreign spectators?
And then there’s all the testing and the unpaid medical workers … and so much work in a shrinking timeframe. No wonder Hashimoto was reportedly reluctant about filling Mori’s shoes. They’re rather big.