Amid surge in Covid-19 cases in Japan and the host city, Tokyo now under state of emergency; therefore US Athletics Team’s Pre-Olympics training in the Japanese city of Chiba has been cancelled.
American athletes were due to train in Tokyo nearby city, Chiba and their local government said “concerns for their athletes’ safety” led to the cancellation.
A recent poll found that nearly 60% of people in Japan want the Games to be cancelled, a fact that may have been exacerbated by the country’s wish to offer donated vaccines to about 2,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support staff to prevent an outbreak during the event.
In Japan, 2.6% of the population has been vaccinated and reports that athletes would be prioritised led to criticism from the public.
“Our officials are saying we’ll make sure we don’t cause trouble for the overall population,” said Miho Kuroda of the Japan Paralympic Committee.
One sponsor has also responded to rising public concern in Japan, with a Toyota Motor Corp executive saying company officials felt “conflicted” over the Games.
“As sponsors, it breaks our heart to see public discontent aimed at athletes,” Toyota’s operating officer Jun Nagata said on Wednesday.