Japan is ahead with its great Olympic gamble


Last Friday, amid a growing number of Kovid-19 infections and shotgun marriages in the run-up to the Olympic Games, the Japanese government extended its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions until the end of the month.

According to the extended decree, businesses will operate under the ban approved and Uninterrupted vaccination program A nation eager to work and encouraged to blend in safely will continue to disappoint. Citizens of the world’s most populous cities will be urged not to make any “unnecessary” trips outside their homes. In less than 11 weeks from now, for the government and the people, inviting athletes from around the world to run, jump and sweat in Tokyo has a lot to do with the term.

Since the epidemic struck last year, the Japanese government has left the question of what is “unnecessary” in interpreting individuals and the private sector in various ways. In the early days of the crisis, in the more horrific days, it correctly (and successfully) believed that strict texts would be applied, creating quick snaps for policies at home and sharp descriptions in between, for example, food shopping and hat shopping.

Those lines have been blurred ever since. Hopefully the government’s current effort involves an attempt to republish the old interpretation Reduces the number of infections It took a long time to restore Japan’s reputation for keeping the disease under control. If it’s lucky, it could happen before thousands of athletes and their teams start going through immigration.

The problem – and immediately, one of the reasons why the new state of emergency is not working as its predecessors – is that it is retrograde Preparing for the Olympics. The determination to push forward with these games and all the trends needed to make them safe fall unequivocally under “necessary” fall

The public charged by the daily advice of loudspeakers on the street must be concerned about whether a child’s picnic or bookstore trip, strictly speaking, is necessary. The government does not seem to have any difficulty in defining simultaneous dressing, surfing and ping-pong tournaments as important activities. Everyone will see the problem in it, regardless of their enthusiasm for the event.

The three stand closely related. The first is that, with an emphasis on the need to host the Olympics in an epidemic, Japan is strongly inclined to the idea that its role as host is written by both duty and destiny. Advertiser Dantusu used this powerful idea in his right hand to persuade Japanese companies to partner. . 3.1bn Olympic sponsorship in cash. But a year after being driven by an invisible couple, the crowds of enthusiasm are low.

Can the charismatic Japanese leader convince this population, of which 979 percent are unspoken, that it is their responsibility to take the risk of this event rather than a supervisory body like the International Olympic Committee?

Can they convince hundreds of physicians and nurses that their skills are best employed to serve in games than to the general public? Probably, but it will take a lot more VM and sales than that Suga in YoshihidePrime Minister The Prime Minister is willing or willing to be.

The second problem is that the government risks creating a credibility deficit that could last long after the torch moves forward, and the political priority goes back to ending the vaccination of the world’s oldest population. Leaders everywhere have been forced to make exceptionally difficult decisions by this epidemic. Leaders of Japan The risk of spending future months and years trying to convince voters, whatever it shows, that they are always more important than water polo and pole grooves.

But the third, and perhaps most frustrating, problem with treating the Games as necessary is: a joyous task rather than encouraging Olympic achievement, ambition, and integration – the language of their preparations – with their strong commitment to protection Excessive restrictions on athletes to watch – it feels like avoiding any explanation of how all of this would be enjoyable.

Beyond the organization’s dire problems, the decision to hold games at this time makes a surprising claim to the patience, courage, and public-enthusiasm of Tokyo and Japan. Without any explicit promise to make fun – and all of this happened accidentally because humanity achieves unreasonable success – this demand may prove overwhelming.

leo.lewis@ft.com



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