The International Olympic Committee (IOC) drew ire after insisting that "sacrifices" must be made to ensure that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead this year, reported The Guardian.
Have to "make some sacrifices" for athletes' Olympic dreams come true, IOC president said
IOC vice president John Coates drew criticism in Japan after he said that the Olympic Games would proceed even if Tokyo was still under a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coates, who oversees preparations for the Games, said "absolutely yes" when he was asked on May 21 whether the games could be delivered under emergency laws, reported Kyodo News.
IOC President Thomas Bach similarly said that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead this summer.
"The athletes definitely can make their Olympic dreams come true. We have to make some sacrifices to make this possible," Bach said in a meeting with the International Hockey Federation, according to The Guardian.
Strong backlash online
It was assumed by many social media users in Japan that Bach had the Japanese public in mind when he referred to the sacrifices that needed to be made, drawing a series of backlash online.
"I didn't know Olympic(s) was more important than human lives. Japanese healthcare system is at its breaking point. Vaccination Programme is slow. Not a good time to host a big event!" Twitter user @woodennoodles said.
IOC Chief Bach:We have to make some sacrifices to make this possible.— Dr RyokoSasamoto 笹本涼子 (@woodennoodles) May 23, 2021
I didn’t know Olympic was more important than human lives. Japanese healthcare system is at its breaking point. Vaccination Programme is slow. Not a good time to host a big event! https://t.co/FtZuB8aOfN
Another user, @AoyamaProd responded to Bach's statement, saying that Japanese people "do not need any dreams based on citizens' sacrifices".
“everyone has to make some sacrifices to fulfil their Olympic dreams.”— [email protected] Tokyo (@AoyamaProd) May 23, 2021
Hey! We, Japanese, DO NOT need any dreams based on citizens’ sacrifices!https://t.co/8NIb5eBObm
"No one's signed up to make sacrifices for your interest," another Twitter user @kumiko said.
“We have to make some sacrifices to make this possible.”— Kumiko Jacobs (@kumiko) May 22, 2021
No, no one’s signed up to make sacrifices for your interest.
Tokyo Olympics on schedule, says IOC chief Thomas Bach despite Japanese opposition | Tokyo Olympics News - Times of India https://t.co/tdsOBAKtN3
Medical association in Tokyo calls for Olympics Games to be cancelled
Calls for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled have been rising among the Japanese public, with medical professionals voicing their concerns about the Games going ahead despite low vaccination rates in Japan.
The Tokyo Medical Practitioners’ Association, which boasts around 6,000 members, called for the Olympics to be cancelled in a letter directed to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and Seiko Hashimoto, the head of the organising committee.
The letter was published on the association's website, according to TIME.
"We believe the correct choice is to cancel an event that has the possibility of increasing the numbers of infected people and deaths," the letter said.
"Viruses are spread by people’s movements. Japan will hold a heavy responsibility if the Olympics and Paralympics work to worsen the pandemic, increasing the number of those who must suffer and die."
Protests in Japan against Tokyo Olympics from proceeding
Members of the public have also taken part in a number of street protests against the Olympic Games.
A recent survey also indicated that around 60 per cent of people in Japan do not want the Tokyo Olympics to proceed as scheduled, reported Kyodo News.
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