Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > Akahata sports editor in chief: Fundamental principles and cause of Olympics buried
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2021 July 14 - 27 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Akahata sports editor in chief: Fundamental principles and cause of Olympics buried

July 24, 2021

The Akahata sports editor in chief, Izumi Tamio, wrote an article about the Tokyo Olympics in Akahata dated July 24. Following are excerpts from his article:

Have the Olympic Games ever been held without support from this many people? Opinion polls show that 87% of Japanese "feel unsafe" about the holding of the Olympics (Tokyo Shimbun) in Japan and 55% answered they "oppose the holding" of the Games this year (Asahi Shimbun). As two thirds of sponsor companies did not show up at the opening ceremony, the defection of the popular will has become the common perception even among some Olympic corporate sponsors.

A major reason is that the Organizing Committee, the IOC, and the Japanese government have given precedence to the Olympics over people's lives in disregard of public opinion. No matter if novel coronavirus infections are spreading, the government continues to claim that the Tokyo Olympics will be "safe and secure". A series of misconduct took place among organizers such as the misogynistic remarks made by Mori Yoshiro, former chairman of the Organizing Committee. While Tokyo has been under COVID-19 emergency orders, IOC President Thomas Bach said, "That is not related to the Olympic Games." No doubt that the IOC wants to hold the Games at any cost for a huge amount of money, which is said to be about 130 billion yen, paid to the IOC by TV networks.

In March last year, then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo decided on his own authority to delay the Olympics "for one year", ignoring his advisors who called for postponement "for two years", and he reached an agreement with the IOC on the 1-year postponement. His successor Suga Yoshihide then went ahead with the holding of the Games, reportedly to take advantage of the "success of the Tokyo Games" to carry the forthcoming general election favorably for the Liberal Democratic Party. This is nothing less than a blatant use of the Olympics for political purposes, leading to the current situation.

The Olympic Games without obtaining majority support is putting Olympic athletes in a difficult position. Like many people, they have been exposed to the risk of being infected with COVID-19 or of having close contact with infected people. However, they still have to train for the Olympics in the environment where many of them cannot do so satisfactorily due to the ongoing pandemic. Holding the Olympics in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is making many athletes have mixed feelings.

Fundamental principles of the Olympics include "the preservation of human dignity" and "promoting a peaceful society". The underlying message is "the importance of human life". However, holding the Olympics when many lives worldwide are at risk denies those principles. It would even destroy the achievement of the global social order which human beings have built such as Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

The Tokyo Olympics started without principles. It will be etched on most people's memory as the "Olympics where its fundamental principles were ignored".
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved