WORLD Japan paper sponsoring Olympics joins cancel calls


Japan paper sponsoring Olympics joins cancel calls

Global Times

19:15, May 26, 2021

Photo taken on Nov. 10, 2020 shows the illuminated Olympic rings and the new National Stadium, the main venue for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Xinhua)

Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, an official Tokyo Olympics sponsor, called for the Games to be canceled on Wednesday, in the latest sign of opposition less than two months before the opening ceremony.

The call comes with public opinion in Japan firmly against holding the Games in summer 2021, and after prominent business leaders voiced their concern in recent weeks.

Organizers insist however that the Games are on, saying an extensive rulebook will keep athletes and the Japanese public safe.

The Asahi daily's editorial urged Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to "make a calm, objective assessment of the situation and make the decision to cancel this summer's Olympics."

The paper said it "cannot accept the gamble" of holding the event.

It also accused International Olympic Committee leaders, including vice-president John Coates, of being "self-righteous" and "clearly out of step" with the Japanese public.

Tokyo and other parts of Japan are currently under a state of emergency, which is expected to be extended this week until June 20.

Two prominent figures in Japanese business have also voiced opposition to the Games in recent weeks.

Masayoshi Son, head of tech investment behemoth SoftBank Group, tweeted on Sunday: "Do the IOC have the right to decide if it's held or not?"

And Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of e-commerce giant Rakuten, called the Games "a suicide mission" earlier in May.

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