Japan's Emperor 'Extremely Worried' Olympics Could Cause Increase In Covid Cases

ToplineThe Japanese Emperor Naruhito is worried that the Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics will lead to an increase in coronavirus infection, according to the Imperial Household Agency. This agency serves as the official representative for the Emperor.Japanese Emperor Naruhito is present at a Sokuirei Seiden-no–gi ceremony, which proclaims his... [+] enthronement in the world, at Tokyo's Imperial Palace, on October 22, 2019. Issei Kato/Getty ImagesThe Key FactsNaruhito is very concerned about the current Covid-19 infection situation, stated Yasuhiko Nishimura, grand steward at the Imperial Palace, which is the main residence of Emperor. Nishimura encouraged various organizing committees and urged them to cooperate and use every antivirus measure to prevent the spread of the Paralympic and Olympics infections. Emperor Naruhito (61), is not an official politician but serves as Honorary Patron for the Tokyo Games. His opinion is respected by the citizens of Japan. Katsunobu Kato Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary downplayed Naruhitos discomfort, saying they were the Emperors personal views.The Key BackgroundAlthough there are many concerns expressed by Japanese health professionals and the populace, Yoshihide Sug remains determined to ensure that the Games begin on July 23rd as planned. A group of Japanese public health experts published a critique of the International Olympic Committee in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. They claimed that the plan to hold the Games on July 23rd is not supported by scientific evidence. Suga made the announcement last week at a meeting the government's coronavirus taskforce that the government would ease emergency measures in Tokyo, eight prefectures and other areas. He also noted that daily case counts have decreased. Although the current state of emergency was lifted in April, restrictions in Tokyo will continue until July 11. Although the state of emergency, which had been in place since late April, was lifted, some restrictions will remain in Tokyo until July 11. It was announced that organizers have decided to prohibit alcohol sales at venues.What to Watch Out ForOfficials at the Imperial Palace said that it is not known if Naruhito will be attending the games personally.Tangent:Officials in Izumisano reported that two members of Uganda's Olympic nine-member delegation tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Japan. The coach had also been vaccinated. Although the coach had negative results from PCR tests prior to departure, he was confirmed positive at Narita International Airport on Saturday.Large Number86% According to a Kyodo News poll, 86% of Japanese people are worried about the rise in Covid-19 cases due to the Tokyo Olympics.Additional Reading:Petition for the Cancellation of Tokyo Olympics Garners 160,000 Signatures in Three Days (Forbes).No Alcohol, no Autographs, and no Cheers: Tokyo Olympics Organizers Reveal Rules for Spectators (Forbes).Tokyo Olympics: Domestic Spectators May Be able to Attend (Forbes).