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  • 작성자 사진Lee Noo-ri

[World] Can the World’s Hopes and Courage Rise?: The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

최종 수정일: 2021년 4월 19일

No. 150 / Mar 8, 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics were scheduled to be held last year but postponed until July of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Olympic Games will open on July 21, 2021, and the opening ceremony will be held two days later. The Paralympics will open on August 24. The Olympic Games began in 1896 and were canceled only five times, including in winter. This was all due to the effects of war. The postponement of the Olympics was unprecedented. The schedule has been postponed, but the name “2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics” will still be used in 2021.

In response to the world’s concerns about holding the Olympics, the Japanese government has strongly expressed its desire to hold the Games. In a speech to the National Assembly in January this year, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, “I want to use the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as evidence of humanity’s victory over COVID-19, and as an opportunity to promote Japan’s revival to the world. We will realize a competition that will give hope and courage to the world.”. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was on the same page. In January this year, Chairman Thomas Bach said, “We are very, very confident, and at this moment we have no reason to believe that the Games could not take place. …all these together do not give us any reason for not believing that we would have the opening ceremony on July 23 and that we will have a very meaningful and very successful Olympic Games.”.

What are the exact COVID-19 countermeasures for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? Major officials related to the Olympics released quarantine rules guidebooks called Playbooks in February of this year. They will continue to be updated until the start of the Games, including in April. Playbooks are issued in several ways. Olympic participants and visitors should use their own Playbooks and act accordingly. The book contains basic quarantine rules, and there are several additional rules related to the Olympics. The following are some of the contents of the book: Visitors should download Japan’s COVID-19 Contact App (COCOA) and health-reporting smartphone applications. In addition, they should be tested and provide proof of a negative result before they depart for the Games. People must use the game transport systems according to their own specific Playbooks. The use of public transport without permission is not allowed. Spectators can support the athletes by clapping but not by singing or chanting.

Unlike the Japanese government, which is actively pushing for the Olympics, the Japanese public has a negative opinion. According to Kyodo News and Sankei Shimbun polls, 80.1% and 84.1% of public opinion was negative (supporting “cancellation” or “postponement”), respectively. They are pessimistic about the upcoming events this summer. The number of spectators who can enter reflects the current status of spectators at Japanese competitions and the spread of infections in Japan and abroad during the spring of this year. Thus, some say that it will be impossible to hold the event considering that Japan expanded the COVID-19 emergency declaration area to 11 prefectures. Conversely, there is also the opinion that the vaccine will work or that the number of confirmed infections will decrease over time, making it possible to hold the Olympics. People are paying attention to whether the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will be held this year. They are also paying attention to whether the Olympics will end without major infections if they are held this year.


By Lee Noo-ri, AG Reporter

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