TOKYO — 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 cancelled altogether with circumstances surging in Japan. Different 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 malls and bars in Tokyo and the nation’s second largest metropolis of Osaka.
“We don’t need folks from exterior the island coming in. Human life is at stake,” Hayako Shimizu, a trainer in Miyakojima, informed the Related 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 Metropolis in close by Ehime prefecture.
The relay is made up of a convoy of a few dozen automobiles with sponsors names festooned on them: Coca-Cola, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Life Insurance coverage Co. The torch bearer follows, every operating for a few minutes, earlier than giving the flame to the following runner who awaits holding one other torch.
The torch relay — like planning for the postponed Olympics which are to open on July 23 — is crammed with uncertainty, fixed adjustments, and questions on why it’s going down — and the way it will happen.
A six-day, on-and-off diving occasion, opened Saturday in Tokyo with 225 athletes from from 46 nations — however no followers.
It was not instantly clear the place the athletes have been staying or underneath what quarantine circumstances, if any, they entered Japan. It’s additionally not clear what number of employees members accompanied the divers.
Contacted by AP, Tokyo organizers stated it “understands that the athletes are coming into Japan primarily based on the rules offered by JASF (Japanese swimming federation) and authorised by FINA.”
It referred additional enquires to FINA and native swim officers.
The world governing physique of swimming FINA listed one in every of divers as former Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley of Britain. However different divers have been from varied nations together with Mexico, Germany, Canada, Romania, Colombia, Japan, Malaysia, Ukraine, and Russia.
The diving occasion is one in every of a number of exams 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. Followers 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 will have the video games” and never on whether or not they need to happen in the course of a pandemic.
Different are usually not so certain about permitting 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into Japan.
One is Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medallist in ice hockey who simply accomplished medical college. Wickenheiser can be a member of the IOC Athletes’ Fee, and was one of many first a 12 months in the past to say the Olympics must be postponed.
“I might like to see the video games occur, it might be a fantastic message of hope for the world. However I feel we at all times have to recollect what we’re in the course of proper now,” Wickenheiser stated in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
Wickenheiser hinted she was most likely a “black sheep” in Olympic circles however added: “I don’t actually care.”
“I feel the IOC needs to go forward with the video games it doesn’t matter what,” Wickenheiser stated. “A part of me needs to belief that that plan is an effective one. However a part of me has additionally seen what’s occurred because the begin of the pandemic and I query a few of the motives. There’s cash, there’s energy, there’s politics. . . . and a variety of ego concerned.”
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 underneath stress.
Olympic organizers say they’ll want about 10,000 medical professionals through the Olympics, and lately officers requested a further 500 nurses.
“The infections are positively spreading, together with in growing nations, and so it is very important completely perceive this case and know there are positively dangers,” he stated.
“It’s time the (Olympic) organizers and others concerned to be accountable and critically begin fascinated about how infections are spreading, and the medical system is getting stretched skinny, after which to tell the general public.”
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Yuri Kageyama And Stephen Wade, The Related Press