On Thursday, March 25, 2021, the torch relay started from Fukushima Prefecture. It has been 10 years since the horrific Great East Japan Earthquake, and as a symbol of recovery, Fukushima is meant to give hope and courage to all of Japan. Although the torch relay is covered in the daily news, it seems to be a fact in Japan that it lacks excitement due to the restrictions placed on the people who flock to the streets.
The Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021, but it is hard to imagine that the Olympics will start in less than four months.
The increase in the number of covid-19 cases is a direct result of the lifting of the state of emergency declaration. It has been reported that the number of people infected with the new covid-19 in Osaka Prefecture will be in the high 800s on April 7. In Tokyo, 399 people have been confirmed to have been infected, and 2,556 infections and 28 deaths have been confirmed nationwide, including 116 in Saitama Prefecture and 112 in Aichi Prefecture.
The national government’s response is reportedly to start vaccinating the elderly over 65 years old against the new coronavirus from the 12th. It is said that sufficient quantities of the vaccine can be secured, but since those affected by covid-19 are young people and office workers, we can imagine that it will take quite a few days before the vaccine is transmitted throughout Japan.
Covid-19 may become increasingly widespread before the vaccine is available. I must say that the lifting of the declaration of a state of emergency was too hasty, but I guess the government thought that it could not provide any more money to support restaurants and other people directly affected by the disease. In fact, the number of restaurant bankruptcies is increasing at an alarming rate.
A one-time lump sum of 100,000 yen was distributed to all Japanese citizens, but many are calling for another distribution. In order to avoid this, they may have chosen to lift the declaration of a state of emergency.
There have also been growing calls from celebrities to cancel the Olympics. Today, on the 7th, Mr. Miki, Chairman of Rakuten, said, “I am against holding the Olympics because I think the risks are too great, I think the risks of hosting the Olympics are too great and I am against it. He also tweeted on Twitter, “I am really sorry for the athletes, but they are not the only ones who are living their lives to the fullest. I’m really sorry for the athletes, but they are not the only ones living hard.
However, a huge amount of money is being spent on the construction of venues for the Olympics. The cost of hosting the Olympics is said to be 3 trillion yen. In the past, there was a great sense of hope that Japan’s recession would pick up a bit with the Olympics, and Olympic-related stocks rose for a while. The government must feel that this must be prevented by all means.
However, in exchange, the number of people infected with the new covid-19 will spread, and Japan’s economy itself will collapse.
Which will we choose, 3 trillion yen or the future of Japan?
Today, the torchbearers are still running around Japan.