The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will take one other detour this weekend when it enters the southern island of Okinawa.
A leg of the relay on Okinawa’s resort island of Miyakojima set for Sunday has been canceled altogether with instances surging in Japan. Other legs on Okinawa will happen.
A 17-day state of emergency went into impact on April 25 in some areas in Japan, which has shut down department shops and bars in Tokyo and the nation’s second largest metropolis of Osaka.
“We don’t need individuals from exterior the island coming in. Human life is at stake,” Hayako Shimizu, a trainer in Miyakojima, advised the Associated Press.
The relay, which can contain 10,000 runners from each nook of Japan, began six weeks in the past and has been totally on schedule regardless of main rerouting in Osaka and in Matsuyama City in close by Ehime prefecture.
The relay is made up of a convoy of a few dozen autos with sponsors names festooned on them: Coca-Cola, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Life Insurance Co. The torch bearer follows, every operating for a few minutes, earlier than giving the flame to the subsequent runner who awaits holding one other torch.
The torch relay — like planning for the postponed Olympics which are to open on July 23 — is full of uncertainty, fixed adjustments, and questions on why it’s happening — and the way it will happen.
A six-day, on-and-off diving event, opened Saturday in Tokyo with 225 athletes from from 46 international locations — however no followers.
It was not instantly clear the place the athletes have been staying or beneath what quarantine situations, if any, they entered Japan. It’s additionally not clear what number of workers members accompanied the divers.
Contacted by AP, Tokyo organizers stated it “understands that the athletes are entering Japan based on the guidelines provided by JASF (Japanese swimming federation) and approved by FINA.”
It referred additional enquires to FINA and native swim officers.
The world governing physique of swimming FINA listed certainly one of divers as former Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley of Britain. But different divers have been from varied international locations together with Mexico, Germany, Canada, Romania, Colombia, Japan, Malaysia, Ukraine, and Russia.
The diving event is certainly one of a number of checks this month — all with out followers. Organizers say they are going to be resolve in June what number of followers — if any — shall be allowed for the Olympics. Fans from overseas have already been banned.
In a briefing on Friday, Hidemasa Nakamura, the supply official of the Tokyo Olympics, stated the main target was on “how safely we are able to have the video games” and never on whether or not they need to happen in the center of a pandemic.
Other usually are not so positive about permitting 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into Japan.
One is Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in ice hockey who simply accomplished medical college.
Wickenheiser can also be a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and was one of many first a 12 months in the past to say the Olympics ought to be postponed.
“I might like to see the video games occur, it might be an ideal message of hope for the world. But I feel we at all times have to recollect what we’re in the center of proper now,” Wickenheiser stated in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Wickenheiser hinted she was in all probability a “black sheep” in Olympic circles however added: “I don’t really care.”
“I feel the IOC desires to go forward with the video games it doesn’t matter what,” Wickenheiser stated.
“Part of me wants to trust that that plan is a good one. But part of me has also seen what’s happened since the start of the pandemic and I question some of the motives. There’s money, there’s power, there’s politics. . . . and a lot of ego involved.”
Dr. Shigeru Omi, who heads the Japanese authorities panel on the coronavirus response, warned a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that the virus is spreading and placing hospitals beneath stress.
Olympic organizers say they’ll want about 10,000 medical professionals throughout the Olympics, and not too long ago officers requested an extra 500 nurses.
“The infections are definitely spreading, including in developing countries, and so it is important to thoroughly understand this situation and know there are definitely risks,” he stated.
“It is time the (Olympic) organizers and others involved to be responsible and seriously start thinking about how infections are spreading, and the medical system is getting stretched thin, and then to inform the public.”