Why are the Olympics going on despite public, medical warnings?

Posted at 1:48 AM, Jun 17, 2021

Public sentiment in Japan has been generally opposed to holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics partly based on fears the coronavirus will spike as almost 100,000 people enter for both events.

The Japanese medical community is largely against it, and the government’s main medical adviser has said it’s “abnormal” to hold the Olympics during a pandemic.

So far, only 5% of Japanese are fully vaccinated. However, the games are still going forward and are set to open in five weeks — largely because billions of dollars ride on it.

According to the Associated Press, Japan has officially spent $15.4 billion, but government audits suggest that the true cost to the government has been twice that figure. Estimates suggest that the IOC could lose between $3 and $4 billion in broadcasting rights should the games be canceled.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga believes that just holding the games will be seen as a success and give him political advantage.