Haruki Murakami pleads for keeping Tokyo park and baseball stadium that inspired his writing
Author Haruki Murakami says he's strongly opposed to the redevelopment of a Tokyo park district that would remove his favorite jogging path and tear down the baseball stadium where he was inspired to become a novelist.
The Latest: S. Korea hits third-straight high in virus cases
South Korea has set a new high in daily coronavirus cases for the third straight day as officials prepare to enforce the strongest social distancing restrictions in the greater capital area where transmission have surged following months of complacency.
Tokyo Olympic head says Bach visit to Japan could be 'tough'
The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee says it would be “quite tough” for IOC President Thomas Bach to make a planned visit this month to Japan with a state of emergency order being extended by the government to Tokyo and other areas until May 31.
Torch relay for Tokyo Olympics kicks off its 121-day journey
The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics began its 121-day journey across Japan on Thursday and is headed toward the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23. (Philip Fong/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO – The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics began its 121-day journey across Japan on Thursday and is headed toward the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23. "When you become my age, this is the last Tokyo Olympics and it’s here. "The Olympic torch relay starting from today is a valuable opportunity for the people to get a real sense of the Olympics and Paralympics that are approaching,” Suga told reporters. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee hope the relay will turn public opinion in Japan in favor of the Olympics.
Spectators from abroad to be barred from Tokyo Olympics
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, on a screen, delivers an opening speech while Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto listens at a five-party meeting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games with International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Japanese Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa in Tokyo Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO – At last it’s official after countless unsourced news reports and rumors: spectators from abroad will be barred from the postponed Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months. The decision was announced Saturday after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers. Several surveys have shown that up to 80% oppose holding the Olympics, and a similar percentage opposed fans from overseas attending.
The Latest: UNLV now plans in-person spring graduation
(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)LAS VEGAS — The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is changing course and now plans in-person spring graduation ceremonies in May as the coronavirus outbreak slows. UNLV President Keith Whitfield on Friday announced the change from plans announced in February to hold graduation virtually. ___LONDON — The U.K. says half of the country’s adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. AdThe government on Saturday reported cases topping the previous record in June. AdJust one third of Italy’s 7.3 million vaccine doses administered so far have gone to people in that age group.
Tokyo Olympics: Yet another scandal over sexist comments
Tokyo Olympics creative director Hiroshi Sasaki is resigning after making demeaning the comments. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO – In yet another setback for the postponed Tokyo Olympics — and another involving comments about women — games' creative director Hiroshi Sasaki resigned on Thursday after making demeaning comments about a well-known female celebrity in Japan. The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to open in just over four months, dogged by the coronavirus pandemic, record costs, and numerous scandals. When the International Olympic Committee awarded Japan the games 7 1/2 years ago, Tokyo billed itself as “a safe pair of hands.” It has evolved into anything but that. Two years ago, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda was also forced to step dow n in a bribery scandal connected to vote-buying involving IOC members.
Torch relay among final hurdles for postponed Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike spoke Thursday after the World Health Organization labeled the spreading virus a "pandemic," a decision almost certain to affect the Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)TOKYO – The Olympic torch relay is yet another hurdle for the postponed Tokyo Games. Olympic organizers are asking for restraint along the four-month route that will touch all 47 prefectures and involve 10,000 runners. The start of the torch relay on March 25 is also likely to be held without fans, according to local reports. The Olympic relay dates back to the 1936 Berlin Games.
The Latest: SKorean economy shrinks for 1st time in 22 years
It marked the first annual contraction for the country’s economy since 1998, when it was in the midst of a crippling financial crisis. In comparison, the federal government previously said 38% of people would receive two doses by the end of June. Still, that’s 700,000 doses on hand, when the state is getting 200,000 doses this week, rising to 223,000 next week. AdBharat Biotech has already signed an agreement with Brazil to supply 20 million doses of the vaccine by September. ___COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s mask mandate will continue until a “critical mass” has been reached of people who have received the coronavirus vaccine, a spokesperson for Ohio Gov.
Tokyo Olympics add 12 women to executive board to reach 42%
TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympics made a symbolic gesture toward gender equality on Tuesday by appointing 12 women to the body’s executive board. The move was announced by CEO Toshiro Muto after an executive board meeting. AdHashimoto, a former Olympic bronze-medal winner in speedskating, promised when she took over to increase female participation in the body's executive board. The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee employs about 3,500 people but will be dissolved after the postponed Olympics take place. Hashimoto is scheduled to meet on Wednesday in a “five-party meeting” with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa.
Reports: Mori to resign Tokyo Olympics over sexist remarks
She said she will skip an Olympic meeting next week with IOC President Thomas Bach, Mori and the national government. Most of its statement about Mori focused on how it says it has improved gender-equality in the Olympics over the last 25 years. Ad___MIZUHO FUKUSHIMA, head of the Social Democratic PartyOpposition leaders have been pressuring Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to convince Mori to step down. There are some unconfirmed reports in Japan that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could replace Mori. Mori got his job in 2014, when Abe was prime minister.
Asian shares mostly lower as virus, China-US tensions weigh
Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday as surging virus counts and China-U.S. tensions weighed on sentiment. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO – Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday as surging virus counts and China-U.S. tensions weighed on sentiment. A move by the Trump administration to further sanction Chinese companies fueled unease over tensions between the two biggest economies. In U.S. trading, China Telecom gained 8.8% on Tuesday but lost 2.1% in after hours trading. The majority of big stocks in the S&P 500 notched gains, with oil producers leading the way as crude prices strengthened.
Tick-Tock: The Tokyo Olympics hit the 200-days-to-go mark
A man looks at a countdown calendar showing 200 day to start Tokyo 2020 Olympics Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Tokyo. The countdown clock for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hit 200 days to go on Monday. The countdown clock for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hit 200 days to go on Monday. A poll last month by national broadcaster NHK show 63% want the Olympics postponed or canceled. The official budget for the Tokyo Olympics was increased last month to $15.4 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion because of the delay.
Asia Today: Thailand confirms 745 new coronavirus cases
(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)BANGKOK – Thailand has registered 745 new coronavirus cases, with a new death reported in Bangkok, where a semi-lockdown went into effect. The government has been considering tougher measures if the spread of the virus does not slow down around the country. The state on Monday reported its first 24-hour period without a new coronavirus infection being detected since Dec. 15. — Sri Lankan authorities say schools will partially reopen next week after being shut for nearly three months because of the coronavirus. It has reported 44,774 cases as of Sunday, including 213 fatalities.
The Latest: Japan's prime minister weighs state of emergency
Yuriko Koike is asking the national government to declare a “state of emergency” to curtail surging coronavirus infections. State health officials reported 12,563 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals on Sunday, an increase of more than 240 from Saturday. It was the sixth time in seven days that the state reported record-breaking hospitalizations. Intensive care units in several parts of the state were full or nearly full Sunday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Andrew Cuomo says the state has recorded more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
The Latest: Ariz. gov. rejects call for online learning
The U.K. has reached a record of more than 57,000 daily coronavirus cases. The state reported 9,527 confirmed cases on New Year’s Day. Andrew Cuomo says the state has recorded more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. California started the new year on Friday with a record 585 coronavirus deaths in a single day. ___WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has reported 266 confirmed coronavirus cases and seven more deaths.
The Latest: Tens of thousands on Vegas strip despite warning
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)LAS VEGAS — Tens of thousands of people were walking on the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve by early evening despite a plea from Nevada Gov. China on Friday reported a total of 19 new virus cases, including 10 that were brought from outside the country. ___LONDON — The coronavirus pandemic canceled London’s annual New Years’ Eve fireworks display, which usually draws tens of thousands of spectators. The nation’s most populated county has about 40% of California’s virus deaths. ___NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee ends the year ranked first in coronavirus cases per capita.
Japan virus outbreaks, scandals sap public support for Suga
Prime Minister Suga came to office on a surge of popularity, pledging to combat the coronavirus and fix the languishing economy. Now his support ratings have plunged amid flaring virus outbreaks and scandals within the ruling party, even as the economy appears to be recovering. His support ratings have sunk amid flaring virus outbreaks and scandals within the ruling party, even as the economy appears to be recovering. With coronavirus cases surging — about 2,400 new cases were reported Monday — the government’s handling of the pandemic is being called into question. “When will Prime Minister Suga, the author of a book ‘Resolution of a politician’ whose motto is ‘Where there is a will there is a way,’ take a decisive action?"
The Latest: Japan sharply tightens ban on foreign visitors
___SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has topped 80 million. ___ATHENS, Greece — Greek health authorities announced 262 new infections from the coronavirus over the 24 hours ending Saturday afternoon. ___MOSCOW — Russia’s Health Ministry has allowed a domestically designed coronavirus vaccine to be given to people older than 60. All four of the infected people are in good health, authorities said. Japan had 3,823 new cases Friday for a national total of 213,547, with 3,155 deaths, the health ministry said.
The Latest: China tests millions in port over virus cluster
(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)BEIJING — Authorities in China’s northeastern port city of Dalian are testing millions of residents after seven new coronavirus cases were reported there in the last 24 hours. It has a deal to secure up to 100 million doses of the potential vaccine produced by AstraZeneca. Koca said the first shipment of three million doses of CoronaVac would be shipped to Turkey on Sunday and arrive Monday. He said Turkey could get 4.5 million doses until the end of March and would have the option buy up to 30 million doses. Indonesia has reported nearly 700,000 COVID-19 cases, the largest caseload in Southeast Asia and second in Asia only to India’s 10.1 million confirmed cases.
Tokyo Games relay opens in 100 days with 10,000 torchbearers
TOKYO – The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics is to start in just over three months, and it faces the same questions as the Olympics about being held safely during the coronavirus pandemic. This was also to have been the starting point for the relay before the Olympics were postponed nine months ago. The relay will travel across Japan and involve 10,000 runners and tens of thousands of officials. The postponed Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021, and are set to include the full complement of 11,000 athletes. Organizers of the Olympics and torch relay are waiting until early next year to provide specific details about countermeasures for the coronavirus.
AP Interview: Tokyo leader: Vaccines give hope for Olympics
The growing availability of coronavirus vaccines is a ray of hope for hosting the Olympics next summer, Koike said Monday as Japan struggles with a new surge in infections. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO – The growing availability of coronavirus vaccines is a “ray of hope” for hosting the Olympics next summer, Tokyo Gov. “I expect this will also become a ray of hope for the Olympics and Paralympics," Koike said. During a second surge during the summer, Tokyo asked businesses to close early and urged residents to wear masks and follow other basic preventive measures. “Japanese people are very cooperative, but by now they are getting complacent about the situation after repeated similar requests,” Koike said.
Asia Today: Tokyo's daily infections top 600 for first time
The Japanese capital confirmed more than 570 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO – The number of new coronavirus infections in Japan’s capital topped 600 in a day for the first time on Thursday, while experts warned of the increased burden on hospitals. Tokyo reported 602 new cases, while the daily tally for the entire nation was 2,810. In other developments in the region:— India is reporting 31,521 newly confirmed coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, dropping to just over a third of the peak level seen in mid-September. — South Korea has reported another new 682 cases of the coronavirus, as officials work to expand testing to slow transmissions.
The Latest: Australia leader to go slow on Pfizer vaccine
If approved, shots could begin within days for health care workers and people in nursing homes. Shots would then begin for health care workers and nursing home residents. ___CANBERRA, Australia — Australian researchers say they have abandoned development of a potential coronavirus vaccine because it produced false positive results on HIV tests. A health ministry statement says the government will first vaccinate health care workers, particularly those who deal with COVID-19 cases. ___HONOLULU — Hawaii expects to receive 80,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine in December for health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
Tokyo Olympics delay costs may reach $2.8 billion
(Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO – The cost of the postponement for the Tokyo Olympics could reach about $2.8 billion, according to figures released Friday by the Tokyo organizing committee, the Tokyo city government and Japan’s national government. “I think our biggest challenge is the additional costs,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said during an online news conference. Tokyo said the Olympics would cost $7.3 billion overall when it won the bid in 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The operational cost for the delay is listed at 171 billion yen, or about $1.64 billion at the present exchange rate. Tokyo organizers also said they could add 27 billion yen (about $260 million) from a contingency fund to help cover added costs.
Tokyo governor: Japan can host Olympics despite virus spike
Koike remains firm about being able to safely hold the Olympics next year despite growing concerns about Japan's recent resurgence of COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO – Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike remains firm about being able to safely hold the Olympics next year despite growing concerns about Japan's recent resurgence of COVID-19 infections. “As the host city, I'm determined to achieve the games whatever it takes," Koike told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. Koike has met with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to discuss how to mitigate the recent resurgence of infections. Tokyo, after topping 500 cases last week, reported 186 new cases on Tuesday for a total of nearly 38,200 cases.
The Latest: Tennessee won't mandate vaccines in its schools
(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s governor says that once coronavirus vaccines become available, they will be optional in the state’s K-12 public schools. It’s just going nowhere,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, said Monday during a meeting with members of the Mississippi Senate. State health officials said fatality updates on Tuesday are typically higher because of lag in reporting from the weekends. That includes more than 1,000 on intensive care units and more than 570 on ventilators, according to state Health Department data. —-MADRID — Spain is reporting a new daily record of 537 coronavirus deaths since the resurgence of the pandemic.
Bach comes to Tokyo as cheerleader for next year's Olympics
TOKYO – The IOC and Tokyo Olympic organizers have been shouting the message for months now, that despite the continuing pandemic, the Games will open on July 23, 2021. Bach was also asked last week whether he was going to Tokyo to talk about contingencies for canceling the Olympics. Bach is travelling on a private charter and will meet new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday morning. An hour later he’s with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and then holds a media conference with Tokyo organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori, another former prime minister. The IOC president has has called Tokyo the best prepared Olympics in history, a point he's likely to repeat.
Tokyo Olympics may allow foreign fans; there will be rules
TOKYO – Next year's postponed Tokyo Olympics — if they happen — will be like no other, particularly for non-Japanese fans if they are allowed to enter in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed on Wednesday in a briefing in Switzerland that he will be in Tokyo next week, his first visit since the Olympics were postponed. Bach gave a firm “no” response when asked if a contingency for canceling the Olympics would be discussed in Tokyo. Bach is expected to meet new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and talk with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Tokyo organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori, and others linked to the Olympics. Tokyo says it is officially spending $12.6 billion to prepare for the Olympics, though a government audit last year said it was twice that much.
Coe supports athletes' right to take knee on Olympic podium
He's an International Olympic Committee member, a two-time Olympic champion, and the head of the governing body of track and field, known as World Athletics. “Athletes are a part of the world and they want to reflect the world they live in,” Coe said. Coe is in the Japanese capital on a courtesy visit to Tokyo Olympic organizers. Coe pitched Tokyo as a possible venue for a future track world championships. “We don’t know what will happen in the next few months,” Coe said, speaking about the Olympics.
Trump COVID infection thrusts world in uncharted territory
People walk past a screen showing the news report that President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Tokyo. Trump's announcement on Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus prompted a multitude of responses on the same platform, as well as others. U.S. stock futures and most world markets fell on the news as did the price of oil. Dr. Bharat Pankhania, who advises Johnson's government on communicable disease control, said he hopes that Trump’s positive test sends a message. “He sent warm greetings to them.”Multiple Arab news media outlets continuously broadcast footage of Trump and his wife after the virus announcement.
Bach offers pep session for Tokyo Games and talks up vaccine
Yuriko Koike, right, reacts before an on-line meeting focused on how to pull off the delayed Tokyo Games, in Tokyo, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. “We have very encouraging news about the development of a vaccine — and not only a vaccine, but vaccines,” he said. Back repeated several times that next year's games have to be “fit for the post-Corona world.” He said the Tokyo Olympics were the “best prepared” in history, but that will not be enough. He also said the IOC and local organizers would not be rushed to reveal details of exactly how the Tokyo Olympics will take place. It forced the resignation last year of Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee.
Heat! What heat? Tokyo Olympics would have been on cool side
Friday, July 31, would have been the seventh full day of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics; almost the halfway point. (Du Xiaoyi/Pool Photo via AP, File)TOKYO Friday would have been Day 7 of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics almost the halfway point. A: Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was asked this week about the possibility of the Winter Olympics being called off. "China will continue to support Japan in hosting the Olympics, and we also hope the Tokyo Olympics to be held as scheduled, Wang said. Beijing was awarded the Winter Games in 2015, ahead of Almaty, Kazakhstan, after several European bidders pulled out.
Asia Today: South Korean prosecutors question church leader
More than 5,200 of South Koreas 13,672 COVID-19 cases have been linked to the church so far. Earlier, South Korean health officials were optimistic the countrys COVID-19 outbreak is coming under control. The 60 new cases reported Friday included 39 linked to people arriving from abroad. Japan has so far avoided the massive cases of the hardest hit nations, at fewer than 24,000 confirmed cases and about 1,000 deaths. The other cases reported in mainland China were all imported.
Rules once lifted are reimposed to try to curb new outbreaks
(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)CANBERRA Virus restrictions once lifted are being reimposed, shutting businesses and curbing people's social lives as communities try to curb a disease resurgence before it spins out of control. Residents of Australias second-largest city were warned on Wednesday to comply with lockdown regulations or face tougher restrictions. The time for warnings, the time for cutting people slack is over, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said. Well just try to work as much as we can when we are open, to prepare for another closure, she said. The United States is the worst-hit country, with 3.4 million cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
Tokyo governor, Abe say they'll cooperate on virus, Olympics
Yuriko Koike, left, talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the prime minister's office in Tokyo Monday, July 6, 2020. (Yoshitaka Sugawara/Kyodo News via AP)TOKYO Tokyos governor and her political rival, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, agreed Monday to cooperate on handling the coronavirus outbreak to safely hold the Olympics next year. The first woman to head Tokyo prefecture, Koike, 67, is viewed as a potential candidate to succeed Abe when his term ends in September 2021. After her meeting with Abe, Koike renewed her campaign pledge to set up a Tokyo version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by cooperating with the health ministry and other experts. She also tried to gain public understanding for a simpler version of the Tokyo Olympics after the games were postponed to next year because of the virus.
Tokyo Olympics seek COVID-19 defenses, but what exactly?
Yuriko Koike, right, meets Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori at Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters in Tokyo Monday, July 6, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP)TOKYO As the president of the Tokyo Olympics, Yoshiro Mori knows that experts will have to come up with defenses against COVID-19 for the the postponed games to open a year from now. Add to this 4,400 Paralympic athletes and thousands of staff members, technical officials, and Olympic officials. We have these kind of problems.In addition to talks with Mori a former prime minister Koike also met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday. In an interview last month, Olympic Games operations director Pierre Ducrey was optimistic the games would be held.
Tokyo governor favored to win reelection for handling virus
Yuriko Koike gestures while speaking during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press at her office of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, ahead of a two-week campaigning for the Tokyo gubernatorial election. Koike is poised to be reelected in Sunday, July 5, 2020 polls, buoyed by public support for her coronavirus handling despite a recent rise in infections that has raised concerns of a resurgence of the disease. Yuriko Koike is poised to be reelected in Sundays polls, buoyed by public support for her coronavirus handling despite a recent rise in infections that has raised concerns of a resurgence of the disease. For now, she says shes focused on protecting the lives of the 14 million people in Tokyo, a megacity with a $1 trillion economy. Fighting against the coronavirus for the residents of Tokyo is my first and foremost responsibility, she said on the eve of the election.
Tokyo gov seeks 2nd term, says Japan unprepared for pandemic
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO Japan may have contained its coronavirus outbreaks for now but the country needs better crisis management and a digital transformation to prepare for future shocks, Tokyo Gov. Koike is favored to win a second term in a July 5 election after gaining respect for her proactive approach to controlling coronavirus outbreaks in Japans capital. Until late March, both Abe and Koike were insisting on the Tokyo Olympics would go ahead as planned in July. As Tokyo governor, Koike has pushed for populist measures such as administrative reforms, wiser spending and reviewing costly venues for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He wants to cancel the Tokyo Olympics and use funds saved to help people hurt by the coronavirus crisis.
Call to cancel Tokyo Olympics enters race for Tokyo governor
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO The contentious issue of the billions being spent on the postponed Tokyo Olympics has entered the debate in the race for governor of Japan's capital. There is no guarantee to hold the games safely in Tokyo, and we dont have a vaccine yet" for COVID-19. "Tokyo will turn into a Petri dish by having so many people coming from around the world, Yamamoto said. Overall, Tokyo says it's spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics, although a government audit last year said it was twice that much. Tokyo estimated the Olympics could cost $7.3 billion when the city was awarded the games in 2013.
Q&A: State of Tokyo Olympics 2 1/2 months after postponement
TOKYO It's been 2 1/2 months since the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IOC executive board meets on Wednesday and will hear a brief presentation from Tokyo organizers on a remote hookup, explaining where things stand. Pierre Ducrey, Olympic Games operations director, said last week that retaining the Olympic Village was problem No. A: No matter where the Olympics are held, or in what city, most Olympic venues look much the same on television. Bach earlier this year warned against using the Tokyo Olympics as a platform for highlighting political and social causes.
Postponed Tokyo Olympics could be downsized and simplified
TOKYO The Japanese public is being prepared for the reality of next years postponed Olympics, where athletes are likely to face quarantines, spectators will be fewer, and the delay will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. The stark message about a very different, reduced Olympics is now being floated in Japan by politicians, and in unsourced news stories. In the hours before an online news conference on Thursday with Tokyo Olympics spokesman Masa Takaya, Japanese media published several versions of virtually the same story citing unnamed sources: Next year's Olympics will be downsized, simplified," or very different.Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto has been open about slashing costs and reducing service levels." "First of all we need to gain the understanding of Tokyo residents and the Japanese people, she said. Meanwhile, Olympic costs have soared.
Nations ease more restrictions, air travel opening up more
A passenger waits to check his luggage at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Serbia, Thursday, May 21, 2020. Serbia's national carrier Air Serbia has resumed commercial flights as the government eased the lockdown against the new coronavirus. An Air Serbia flight from Serbias capital Belgrade was the first to land at the Ljubljana airport on Friday. Traffic relaunch at the airport is set in stages: Lufthansa, Montenegro Airlines and a Polish carrier should return by mid-June, while Swiss Air, Air Brussels, Transavio and British Airways will come next. Authorities in Thailand are relaxing some more restrictions that were imposed two months ago to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Japan lifts coronavirus emergency in all remaining areas
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wears a protective mask as he enters a venue for his news conference in Tokyo, Monday, May 25, 2020. (Kim Kyung-hoon/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and four other remaining areas on Monday, ending the restrictions nationwide as businesses begin to reopen. Abe said the lifting of the emergency does not mean the end of the outbreak. Recent media surveys show public support for his Cabinet has plunged below 30%, the lowest since he returned to office in December 2012. Since May 14, when the measures were lifted in most of Japan, more people have left their homes and stores have begun reopening.
Will the 2020 Tokyo Olympics be canceled due to COVID-19?
As the world tries to curb the rise of COVID-19 with events being canceled or rescheduled left and right, it’s an honest and open question to ask if this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo will go forward as planned. The World Health Organization labeled COVID-19 as a pandemic, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see this monumental sporting event canceled in order to help stop the spread of the virus. But I believe cancellation is impossible.”At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what the Japanese government wants to do because canceling the Olympics is a decision the International Olympics Committee (IOC) makes. With only four and half months to go until the opening ceremony, Tokyo could stand to lose billions of dollars if the games are canceled. “There is no plan now to change our plans,” Tokyo organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori said.