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Japan Was Right to Hold the Tokyo Olympics

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05.08.2021

In a poll released one week before the commencement of the postponed Tokyo Olympics, only 22 percent of Japanese supported Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s decision to go ahead with the Games. Across 28 countries surveyed, only 57 percent of respondents agreed with the Japanese leader.

In the lead-up to the Opening Ceremony on July 23, many panned holding the Games as irresponsible and even dangerous. A common view was that it was better to hunker down until the pandemic passes, even if it takes months or even years before we can safely emerge again.

With just days to go before the Closing Ceremony, the naysayers are much quieter. Many will have even changed their minds. The decision to go on with the Olympics was a brave one. It was also a sensible decision and a necessary tonic for a world beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel during this panic.

It is notable that despite earlier misgivings, the Japanese population has embraced the Games if viewership and interest is anything to go by. The Opening Ceremony was viewed by more than 70 million people, which made it the most watched event in at least a decade. Audiences are down in the United States and Europe from previous Games, largely due to........

© The Diplomat


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