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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 June 16 - 22  > All municipalities should cancel planned mobilization of schoolchildren to go to Summer Games
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2021 June 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

All municipalities should cancel planned mobilization of schoolchildren to go to Summer Games

June 21, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

More than one million schoolchildren are to be mobilized to go and see the Olympics and Paralympics this summer amid the still ongoing pandemic. Tens of municipalities, including Saitama City, however, cancelled the planned mobilization of children while there are no such moves in Tokyo. The Akahata Sunday Edition dated June 20 exclusively reported on the reason: the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games late in May sent an application form to concerned prefectural governments so that they can apply for the cancellation of mobilization of children; the Tokyo Metropolitan government, however, held back on sending copies of this application document to all the municipalities in Tokyo. It is extraordinary for the Metropolitan government led by Governor Koike Yuriko to insist on going ahead with the mobilization of children.

The Tokyo Organizing Committee three years ago decided to mobilize schoolchildren to see the Games, and a certain number of tickets were allocated to municipalities for that purpose. Taking groups of children to a large-scale event during the global pandemic is not advisable.

The Delta variant first detected in India is said to be very transmissible and is becoming rampant in the world. In Japan, it is predicted that the Alfa variant which originated in the U.K. will soon be replaced by the Delta variant. At a time like this, if many children in groups come and go to Olympic venues using public transportation, the risk of infections will undoubtedly increase.

In addition, the risk of heatstroke is not being taken into consideration although many competitions will take place under the burning July sun.

A substantial number of teachers and staff members are needed to take care of children's health while engaged in collective activities. However, at present, many schools have little reserve capacity to maintain educational activities and infection control.

Municipalities thinking of taking children to attend the Games should cancel. Municipal mayors should announce that they will cancel the children's participation in order to protect their lives and health, and should be held responsible for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. It is important to increase public opinion to urge all municipalities to decide to cancel the mobilization of schoolchildren to the Olympics and Paralympics.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo organizers intend to force schoolchildren to attend the Summer Games without protection against COVID-19 [May 2, 2021]
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