A major newspaper in Japan wants the Tokyo Olympics canceled with the Games set to take place in July. According to the Associated Press, Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper is publicly opposing the Olympics taking place due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The newspaper joins a number of regional newspapers that are against the Games from happening.
"We cannot think it's rational to host the Olympics in the city this summer," the newspaper said in its editorial section. "Distrust and backlash against the reckless national government, Tokyo government and stakeholders in the Olympics are nothing but escalating. We demand Prime Minister Suga to calmly evaluate the circumstances and decide the cancellation of the summer event."
Despite the editorial from the newspaper that has a circulation of over 6 million, the Tokyo Olympics are still on as of this writing. Toshiro Muto, the Tokyo organizing committee CEO, said he was made aware of the editorial, but didn't say much about it or the Games being canceled.
"Of course, different press organizations have different views. And that's very natural," Muto said. The editorial also comes after the United States issued a "Do not travel" advisory to Japan due to the COVID-19 cases. However, the U.S. Olympic Committee is staying the course when it comes to the Games and travel plans to Tokyo.
"We feel confident that the current mitigation practices in place for athletes and staff by both the USOPC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, coupled with the testing before travel, on arrival in Japan, and during Games time, will allow for safe participation of Team USA athletes this summer," the organization said in a statement. Currently, Japan is at a level 4 when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is considered "very high."
"Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan," the CDC said. "If you must travel to Japan, get fully vaccinated before travel." The Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 23 and end on August 8. If the Olympics are called off, Tokyo could try to get the Games back in 2032 since the 2024 Games will be in Paris and the 2028 Games will take place in Los Angeles.