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[LISTEN] Analyst: “Are the Tokyo Olympics Being Hosted on the Basis of Trying to Create Symbolic Diplomacy for Japan & the World?”

Jul 29, 2021

REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Faizel Patel – 29/07/2021

Asia Pacific correspondent Sanusha Naidoo says the massive surge in COVID-19 cases in a single day in Tokyo is not necessarily linked to the Olympic Games which is taking place in Japan.

Yesterday the Japanese capital reported a record high of 3,177 cases, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.

Tokyo has been under a fourth state of emergency since July 12 ahead of the Olympics, which began last Friday despite widespread public opposition and concern that they could further worsen the outbreak.

Experts say Tokyo’s surge is being propelled by the new, more contagious Delta variant of the virus.

Naidoo says there has been a lot opposition to whether Japan should have continued to hosting the Olympic Games amid the surge in infections.

“There was opposition from civil society groups, from medical groups saying that this would spike in terms of daily infections and also in terms of whether there’s capacity by the Tokyo state government as well as by the national government to deal with these increasing numbers of infections.”

Naidoo says the surge in infections has raised concerns among many groups including civil society in Japan.

“There’s a serious issue or a serious challenge in Japan right now in terms of are the games being hosted on the basis of trying to create some kind of symbolic diplomacy for the country, for the world in all of the mayhem we’re seeing with the pandemic and other natural disasters and human disasters. But at what cost will this come to Japan in terms of the infections we now seeing and are they going to be giving it the attention that they should be giving it.”

Games organisers on Wednesday says that among the new cases, 16 more people associated with the Games, none of them athletes, have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total since the start of this month to 169.

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)


Listen to the Asia Pacific Report with Sanusha Naidoo 


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