Tokyo Olympics: Why People Are Afraid To Show Support For The Games

Tokyo Olympics: Why People Are Afraid To Show Support For The Games

Japan is not a country known for protests. So when people take to the streets in large numbers, it gets noticed.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • With less than 50 days until the start of the event, most of the public say they want the Games canceled or postponed again. A petition against the Tokyo Olympics has collected a record 420,000 signatures.
  • Ten thousand registered volunteers have quit. Hospitals posted messages on their windows saying, "Stop Olympics." Hundreds of cities backed out of hosting athletes.
  • It has become an extremely emotional debate where dissenting views are not tolerated to the extent that people who hold them are too scared to come forward - including athletes.
  • "It's unfortunate that athletes don't feel comfortable saying that they want the Games to go ahead," said Toshinao Sasaki, a journalist who has written extensively about how Japan needs to be able to have a healthy debate.
  • The government is simply choosing to stay silent, with the same sentence, "The Tokyo Olympics will be held in a safe and secure manner," having been repeated over and over.
  • With a looming national election, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has been under enormous pressure, with his approval rating having halved since he took office.

Read the original story here.


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