The Olympic Games will continue, despite the corona pandemic. The chairman of the Japanese organizing committee has reiterated this, 50 days before the official opening of the Games.
But in the meantime, enthusiasm among the Japanese is visibly declining. Thousands of volunteers drop out, and sponsors are at a loss.
“We cannot postpone the Games again,” said organizing committee chairman Seiko Hashimoto in a Japanese sports newspaper. And according to the Tokyo 2021 chief, there can be no question of adjustment either. “Unless Armageddon happens, it’s a go,” a senior member of the IOC told a British newspaper last night.
But the enthusiasm in Japan itself is at a low ebb. For example, 10,000 of the 80,000 Japanese who volunteered for the Games have already given up. Most of them do so out of concern about the corona pandemic. For example, the chance that they will still be vaccinated before the Games is small. At present, less than 5% of the Japanese population has already been vaccinated.
But the sponsors still have many questions. For example, Asahi, the largest Japanese brewer, still does not know whether they will be able to sell beer in the stadiums. After all, it is not yet clear whether the public will be admitted during sports competitions. Foreigners are not welcome, but nothing has been decided about Japanese spectators yet.
In total, more than 60 Japanese companies have paid 2.5 billion euros in sponsorship money. But it is not certain what they will get in return. For example, car brand Toyota had planned to use thousands of new models on hydrogen and self-driving cars to drive athletes and VIPs around the Olympic village. Whether that can still happen with the corona measures in force is uncertain.