Women's Sport: Japan's deputy Prime Minister says Tokyo 2020 is "cursed"

Concern Mounts Over The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Amid The Ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, has suggested that this year's Olympics set to be held in Tokyo are "cursed".

The often controversial politician used a parliamentary panel to point out how the Olympics seems to be overshadowed every 40 years by extraordinary events. World War II's expansion to Japan and China in 1940 cancelled the Summer Games in Tokyo that year and in 1980 many Western countries boycotted the Moscow Games in protest of the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan.

"Another 40 years makes it this year. The mass media would love this expression if I say it's a cursed Olympics... but it's a reality," Mr Aso, who is also the Finance Minister told Japan's Financial Affairs Committee.

He added that the decision to cancel or postpone the Games would be a tough one, especially considering the number of athletes and spectators involved.

“It is a pretty difficult decision, given spectators. Being able to host the Olympics would move the people. It is desirable [for the Games] to be held peacefully."

Representatives from the International Olympic Committee have been forced to comment on the likelihood of whether the Olympics will be cancelled or postponed in recent weeks. This week the IOC released a statement on their website in which they revealed their unwillingness to make any concrete decisions anytime soon.

"The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage, and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive."

This statement drew criticism and frustration from athletes whose training and preparations for the Games have been impacted by self-isolation and social distancing policies recommended by the government.

There are clearly many different stakeholders who would rather the Olympics were not impacted by the spread of Covid-19, however, it seems reckless to just sit and ride the storm as the Games creep up.

The Japanese government are under pressure to deliver the Games with much of the build-up concentrating on the spiralling budget that seems to just grow and grow. An audit by the government showed that the budget had grown from $7.3 billion at the time of their bid to more than $26 billion at present.

According to Japan Today, if the Olympics are cancelled this summer Japan's economy could take a dramatic hit. The country is already expecting a contraction in the economy of 0.7 percent, but this could worsen to a rate of 1.5 percent if the Games are cancelled.

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