Japan Canceling Tokyo Olympics Because Of Coronavirus?

There is no doubt that the Tokyo Olympics are a massive production. Olympic cities plan and build for years in preparation to host the Olympic games. However, as coronavirus spreads, it looks like the event will have to be reluctantly put on hold.


Since the last Summer Olympics four years ago, athletes, sponsors, and various countries across the globe have been gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics of 2020. However, now that the world faces a pandemic, the anticipation will continue to build for another year.

The Japanese organizers and the International Organizing Committee were consistently arguing that the exhibition should proceed. However, many countries began to pull themselves out of the games over concerns surrounding coronavirus.

tokyo olympics
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Impact Of Coronavirus

The Tokyo Olympics was one of the last holdouts as other events such as the NBA finals, the Kentucky Derby, and the France Open were all canceled long ago. These cancelations have swept over cities and countries along with the coronavirus.

In addition, Kozo Tashima, the deputy chairman of the Japanese Olympic Committee, contract coronavirus himself.


Further, as travel restrictions are being enacted all over the world, the feasibility of bringing the international community together on such a great scale this summer has been greatly diminished.

The Games Are Postponed

Like most of us, after weeks of delay and a growing lack of options, the Japanese government has finally bowed its head.

They declared the new victims of the coronavirus pandemic to ve the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Along with the International Olympic Committee, they chose to postpone the event until some time in 2021.

The decision shocks Japan, which marketed the games at the highest level. This may be why the announcement came not from officers who planned the event or the Governor of Tokyo, but directly from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the IOC.

The IOC said that it would take up to four weeks to determine the situation just two days before the announcement. However, there was a great urgency to take action.

When the Canadian and Australia Olympic Committees called for a break, the idea of going forward became untenable.

In addition to the global concerns, COVID-19 has spread well beyond Asia, with the US and Europe struggling to keep it under control. At the same time, East Asia seems to have the virus at a reasonably low level.

The Economy And The Games

The announcement comes at an already tense moment for Japan’s economy. However, the games did not only reflect cash. The Olympic Games in 1964 were an iconic event for Japan and still are a sign of a golden period of economic prosperity.

This time was a record for a defeated country’s entry back onto the global stage from its almost complete collapse. In 1945, Japan became the world’s second-largest economy for several years.

Japan had just 14 percent of China’s population and was geographically distanced from Europe’s and the United States’ economic centers. Along with having a lack of resources to power an industrialized economy, their success was no small feat.

So, postponing the Olympic games hits particularly hard in Japanese culture. Postponing the Olympics means postponing prosperity.

tokyo olympics
Photo credit: aljazeera.com


Japan, so far, has not had the worst of the pandemic. And, if all goes well, the Tokyo Olympics will happen at one point or another, rather than being canceled altogether.

Click here to know more about COVID-19.

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