Another postponement of Olympics unlikely: Japan

Tokyo, Jun 8 (EFE).- Japan on Tuesday said that it considers another postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to be impractical due to the difficulty in securing the reservation of sports venues and accommodation for participants.

When asked about reports published in British media alleging that sponsors are behind the scenes asking for another postponement, Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa said at a press conference that it would be difficult, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

According to the reports, some major Olympics sponsors who have invested billions of dollars are asking for the sporting event to be pushed back by several months to allow more spectators to attend.

Marukawa said on Tuesday that the organizing committee denies having heard anything about the matter.

He added that preparations for the event are underway and that if the dates were changed it would be difficult to ensure the use of the sports facilities and the necessary accommodation for participants.

The upcoming Games, scheduled to kick off on July 23, are on their way to becoming the most expensive Olympics so far.

The organizers have faced considerable cost overruns due to the re-negotiation of contracts for the use of venues, the apartments of the Olympic Village and the payment of staff salaries after the postponement from 2020 to 2021.

There is also a lack of public support for the event on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

The prevalence of the disease and the slow rollout of the vaccination campaign in Japan have led a large section of the Japanese population to prefer that the sporting event be postponed or canceled.

A little over 10 percent of the Japanese population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 3.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

Another postponement would allow more people to be vaccinated, the weather to be cooler and perhaps less public opposition, according to some sponsors.

The organizers of the Games have already announced that no overseas spectators will be allowed and that they have created special bubbles n in which the movement of people will be greatly restricted.

The organizing committee is set to make a decision in June on whether Japanese spectators will be allowed and how many.

Many companies had based their advertising strategies on gifts and promotions in stadiums and other venues so they believe that a higher number of spectators and more freedom of movement would allow them to recover their investment to some extent. EFE


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