Olympic athletes make awkward arrival in Tokyo for beleaguered Games

[DW News – 2021.06.01] Japan is facing a serious conundrum. It has sunk so much money into the Olympics. Officially, $15.4 billion US dollars. And if Tokyo cancels the Games, the country stands to lose an estimated $16.5 billion. So organizers are loathe to stop the Games.

But citizens see a public health danger if the event moves forward. The majority do not want it to happen – especially because most of the country remains un-vaccinated.

Aussie Spirit – the Australian Olympic softball team – is the first international squad to arrive in Japan. And they’re facing unprecedented restrictions – no restaurants, no sightseeing, and certainly no socializing.

Most people in Japan don’t want the Olympics Games to happen. They’re questioning the sense of 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from more than 200 countries traveling to Japan, at a time when serious COVID-19 cases have recently hit new highs.

And the nation’s slow vaccination roll out isn’t helping either. Japanese Olympic athletes are now being offered jabs. But only about two and a half percent of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated so far.

Despite all this, the organizers are standing firm. The arrival of Australia’s softball team is a huge show of confidence in the beleaguered event. All team members tested negative after landing.

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