Less than six weeks before the Olympic torch relay was thanks to begin in Fukushima, showcasing the region's recovery from a catastrophic nuclear disaster a decade ago, the japanese prefecture has once more been rocked by a strong earthquake.
The 7.1 magnitude quake which hit the region on Saturday was, for many, a painful reminder of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck an equivalent area almost 10 years ago, causing a tsunami and therefore the subsequent notorious meltdown .
Saturday's quake is simply the newest during a long line of setbacks to beleaguer Tokyo 2020.
From the scrapping of a proposed $2 billion national stadium and a plagiarized Olympic logo, to the resignation of the Tokyo 2020 president over sexist comments about women and, of course, a worldwide pandemic which has caused the event to be delayed by a year -- and continues to supply huge logistical challenges -- the event has been beset by frustrations.
That has made the event's quite $25 billion tag hard to swallow for a few inside the country, particularly in Fukushima where many are still struggling to get over the impact of the 2011 earthquake and meltdown .
They argue that cash could be spent improving the lives of those still bearing the prices of the nuclear disaster -- especially as travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic mean Tokyo's investment is unlikely to reap the traditional returns of hosting an Olympics.
"It's really been a black eye for Japan," said Jeff Kingston, a professor in Asian studies at Temple University in Tokyo. "The whole point was to prove brand Japan, and the rest of the world has seen a Japan that Tokyo didn't want them to see."
Shizuka, a Fukushima resident, who asked CNN to only use her first name, said: "Honestly, in Japan, now is not the time to hold the Olympics. She added that hosting the Olympics at this point in time would bring little benefit to the country's residents. "There is no hope with the Olympics," she continued.Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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