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The recently launched online petition to promote the cancellation of the Tokyo Summer Olympics received more than 200,000 signatures in just two days, according to a report by Inside the Games. The petition was launched by Kenji Utsunomiya and cited that given the cases of COVID-19 in Japan, it would be impossible to hold the Olympics safely.
Several cities in Japan, including Tokyo, are currently located in a state of emergency, as coronavirus cases are increasing sharply and vaccinations are not readily available in the Asian country. The online petition states that the hosting of the Games would place an emphasis on the international sporting event and not the health of Japanese citizens. It also states that there are concerns that bringing in athletes, officials and media from around the world increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
“The spread of new coronavirus infections has not only happened in Tokyo, but also in different parts of Japan and around the world to this day, “said Utsunomiya. “Vaccination, which started late last year, is currently only widespread in a few areas such as Europe and the US and is not the decisive factor in preventing infections. In these circumstances, it is extremely difficult to believe that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games can safely take place in July this year. In this situation the Olympic Games, which were supposed to be a “celebration of peace”, would deviate significantly from this philosophy. “
The petition is addressed to the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, who announced in the past two days that the IOC had reached an agreement with Pfizer to vaccinate athletes who have not yet received them to offer.