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Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 committed to holding Olympics despite latest COVID emergency

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said on Friday they remain committed to holding the Summer Olympics even as Japan is set to issue a third COVID-19 state of emergency for the capital and three western urban prefectures. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to formally announce later Friday a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and its two western neighbors Kyoto and Hyogo from April 25 through mid-May. Japan's third state of emergency since the pandemic began comes only a month after an earlier emergency ended in the Tokyo area. For days, experts and local leaders said ongoing semi-emergency measures have failed and tougher steps are urgently needed. Japan has also has been slow to roll out vaccinations, leaving its population largely unprotected before the Olympics begin in July. Low public support in Japan for going ahead with the Olympics, particularly since less than 1% of the population has been vaccinated. Polls repeatedly show 70-80% are opposed to going ahead with the games. The stae of emergency is eet to end May 11th, just ahead of an expected visit to Japan by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, triggering speculation that the government is prioritising the Olympic schedule over people's health. Bach's comment that the state of emergency is "not related to" the Olympics also fueled criticisms from opposition lawmakers and others.

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  • Released : 24-Apr-2021

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  • Viral