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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > Akahata political editor in chief: Tokyo Games should be stopped immediately to protect people’s lives
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2021 July 14 - 27 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Akahata political editor in chief: Tokyo Games should be stopped immediately to protect people’s lives

July 25, 2021

The Akahata political editor in chief, Nakaso Torakazu wrote an article about the Tokyo Olympics in Akahata dated July 25. Following are excerpts from his article:

More than 18 months have passed since a “pneumonia of unknown cause” was first reported at the end of 2019. In Japan, as of July 23, the number of COVID-19 patients reached 862,143 with 15,116 deaths, according to NHK. Globally, the number of infected reached nearly 200 million and the death toll topped four million. Literally, human societies in the world are being hit by the greatest crisis in the post-war period. It can be said that people all over the world have come to believe that the role of government in such situations should be to save people’s lives.

Not only the former Abe government but also the Suga government have implemented policies that ignore people’s demands and the role of government in protecting people’s lives.

They showed reluctance to compensate business owners for damages caused by coronavirus-related restrictions, while sticking to imposing self-responsibility on the general public. They turned their backs on medical institutions’ demand for financial support that covers loss of earnings and took a negative stance to introduce PCR testing for an early detection of asymptomatic carriers. They clung to promoting the “Go To” subsidy projects, which resulted in spreading COVID-19 infections nationwide. On top of this, they pushed forward with opening the Summer Games, the ultimate example of their maladministration.

The Tokyo metropolitan area, where many Olympic venues are located, has witnessed a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections. In Tokyo, the spread of infections has escalated as evidenced by the fact that the number of new daily cases reached almost 2,000 and that the week-on-week percentage of new confirmed cases increased by 150%. Experts cited the delta variant, which is 2.5 times more contagious than previously circulating strains, as a possible factor behind this situation. A public health nurse in Tokyo, who feels a sense of crisis, said, “As hospitals in the 23 wards of downtown Tokyo have a limited number of beds for new COVID patients, we need to send them to hospitals in suburban areas. This requires an awful long time due to Olympic-related traffic restrictions.”

While insisting on the need to contain the movement of people, the government went headlong into opening the world’s largest sporting event. This act increases the risk of infections across Japan. It is unacceptable for the government to endanger people’s lives with its policy blunders. In order to protect people’s lives, the Tokyo Games should be stopped immediately.

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