TOKYO: Japan's Asahi Shimbun, a politician partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, involved the Summer Games to be canceled in an article on Wednesday, citing risks to public safety and strains on the medical system from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Poll after poll has shown the bulk of the general public is against holding the Games this summer, concerned about tens of thousands of athletes and officials descending on a rustic that has mostly remained closed to foreigners since last year and where vaccinations have proceeded slowly.
Doctors' associations have protested holding the Games, investors have talked up the advantages of shelving them and maverick businessmen like Masayoshi Son have involved in canceling the Games.
That Asahi, one of Japan's most prestigious newspapers, broke ranks with other partners is probably going to accentuate specialize in the viability of the Games.
"We ask Prime Minister (Yoshihide) Suga to calmly and objectively assess things and choose on the cancellation of the event this summer," said the paper, a left-leaning daily often critical of Suga's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
"We are far away from a situation during which everybody is often confident they're going to be 'safe and secure," the paper added, invoking the govt mantra about the Games. "Sadly, that's not the truth ."
Several of Japan's other major dailies, like the Nikkei, the Mainichi, and therefore the Yomiuri, also are Tokyo 2020 official partners.
Much of Japan, including host city Tokyo, remains under the third state of emergency that's widely expected to be extended beyond this month; and although Japan has been spared the coronavirus ravages of overseas nations, it's struggled to regulate the fourth wave of infections across the country.
Just over 5 percent of the state has received vaccinations, and it's recorded about 719,000 infections and 12,394 deaths.
A professor of public health and adviser to the New Zealand government said on Tuesday that going ahead with the Games was absurd.
Us on Monday issued an advisory against visit Japan, but Japanese officials said it might not affect the Games, and therefore the White House said on Tuesday it stood by the choice to carry the Games as planned.
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