Question Should we overreact in Okinawa and Japan and cancel the Olympics?

Should Tokyo 2020 Be Canceled?
Should the Tokyo 2020 Olympics be canceled?


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Amid the fear of COVID-19 spreading in the States, multiple venues have closed and it's recommended to not even gather with more than 50 people at an event. The most prominent example of this is the NBA canceling the basketball season after a player tested positive for coronavirus—stadiums that were once full of fans, will now be empty, and players benched. Last season, the NBA netted $8 billion in revenue. There is a top-down, drastic, economic effect on this.

The revenue from the non-profit Olympics pale In comparison to the NBA, with revenues of $5.7 billion between 2013 and 2016, which were 2014 Sochi and 2016 Rio de Janeiro; let's just call it $3 billion per Games.

That said, it's not how much the Olympics make, it's how much they bring into the economies of where they're hosted as well as how much money is invested in infrastructure and advertising that goes into everyday ordinary people's pockets. From the jobs created building the National Stadium, the central venue for the 2020 Tokyo Games, costing 252 billion yen (~$2.4 billion USD) to the multitude of jobs created in the area to serve the masses that will come. The Olympics have a huge economic impact. Take not only the airlines, such as Japan Airlines pictured above, losing out on passenger ticket sales, but also on $100,000 to $200,000 for paint jobs to proudly display that Japan is hosting the Olympics too!

With coronavirus floating around Japan, and a mere 814 cases of COVID-19 in Japan, should Japan pull the plug on hosting the Olympics? Or should they be canceled altogether? Also, should we even worry about it affecting Okinawa, as an epidemic and as financial stress?
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.


Okinawa.Org Staff
I don't think there's anything to worry about at this time and would attend the Olympic games had I been able to stay awake long enough to enter the lottery for the ones that I wanted to personally watch.

In my opinion, we shouldn't be overreacting about anything in Okinawa regarding COVID-19 at this point, with only 3 confirmed cases, and a month and a half or so without any popping up here.


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Sorry, I'm not a resident of Okinawa but live in Kanto. I see no other alternative than to cancel or postpone the Games despite all the repercussions laid out in the first post. Seventy per cent of Japanese view things the same way. Realistically, the pandemic will no be under control until July and we don't know how long the travel restrictions imposed by the US, the EU and many other nations will remain in place, not to mention the availability of coronavirus vaccines. It would be quite irresponsible to allow hundreds of thousands of people to conglomerate under such circumstances.

Spring Olympics 2021? :)


Okinawa.Org Staff
Spring Olympics 2021? :)
This is exactly what I was thinking. Cancel 2020, everywhere, until we're for sure that it's under control. But postpone the games in Tokyo for another year. Is there a rule somewhere where they can't be canceled and be picked back up?

I don't think so. It's happened during WWI and WWII, except the venues changed.

Merely cancel them if need be, but postpone them to be still held in Tokyo.

As far as the second part of the question goes, I don't think anyone in Mainland or Okinawa should be panicking at all at this moment.


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As of now, COVID-19 is just really starting to impact the US. The travel bans IMO should have started a lot sooner. Perhaps it would still be centralized.

I feel like they should wait until the beginning of June to make a final decision. A lot of time, money, & hard work (on the athletes parts) have gone into preparations.

At the bare minimum, they could still have athletes & support personnel (trainers/ coaches) come & compete, but not have an audience. Stick to broadcasting only much like they did for the recent Sumo events. Only ppl who are tested & symptom free at least one week prior, may enter the competition venues.

There’s a lot of miscellaneous people (like dance troupes & souvenir vendors) who are absolutely not a necessity. If they can hold the Olympics during World Wars & even in recent times when terrorism has been a huge legitimate concern, surely they can figure out how to do it now.

Worst case scenario, push the Olympics back a year.


Okinawa.Org Staff
Worst case scenario, push the Olympics back a year.
I don't see what the big deal about pushing it back one year is either. Of course, there is some cost involved, and of course, some teams may change. However, something needs to be done about it. That something, is still unknown to me, even.

It's because once they find out something about the new coronavirus, a new contradictory finding for that appears.
  • Someone is cleared. Goes home. Gets their dog sick.
  • Someone is cleared. Goes home. Gets reinfected.
  • Someone is cleared. Goes home. What next?
  • A virus can live for A days on X surface.
  • A virus can live for B days on X surface.
  • A virus can live for B days on Y surface.
  • This mask.
  • That mask.
It seems like each new thing they find, they find something else about it. Especially the mutations.

I don't know how it's all going to play out, but I hope it plays itself out sooner than long and drawn out and everyone that comes in contact with it fares well.

The question in the poll isn't concise enough with this new opinion of mine, that seems to match yours: What's wrong with Tokyo 2021 and then do either 2024 or 2025?

The Olympics committee cannot pick a city and then up and abandon it after a lot on everybody's effort went into making it happen by that deadline. I presume that a lot of people and businesses would be bound to go under as they strategically placed their business within the area of the stadium for that extra foot traffic, even after the Olympics are done. It's like bars being placed outside of Gate 2 and then Kadena deciding that they are no longer going to use Gate 2 for entry any longer; it would decimate a lot of businesses in other words.

The only thing I think people should do is stop watching the media because I don't know where this TP thing came from, but, you can live an apocalypse out without a closet full of the stuff. ?

People would be better off investing in canned goods and other non-perishable foods over toilet paper if anything... whether it be for this or survival goods in general. People should have a few days of food stocked up just in case of unknown power grid failures, etc. It should've never come to this point.


Okinawa.Org Staff
I agree. Push the Olympics back one year. The athletes are unable to train now in most countries. I don't thin the world will be bac to normal by July, so postponing one year makes sense.
With every country having its own closed door policies on other countries now, it doesn't seem like the entirety of each Olympic team can fully participate in any country at this point.

Even if the US could host them, a lot of European countries couldn't participate. Furthermore, with a partial closure of the southern border (Mexico) to nonessential travel, could Mexico attend?

I think 2020 should be cancel and postponed to still take place in Tokyo, due to their selection and massive investment, rather than a complete cancellation and selection of another country the 'next games'.

They need to make an announcement on their decision soon as a lot is at financial stake, as well as potential lives if the games go on as planned.


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They should postpone until next summer 2021. Honestly I hate the Olympics. I mean sports are cool and it's neat how all the countries get together in peace, but it's a white whale of an event. It often leaves useless venues all around the country and in the end no real benefit.


Okinawa.Org Staff
They should postpone until next summer 2021.
Agreed. Hopefully, like H1N1, we can get it under control in the same matter of time. And, hopefully, with a lesser mortality rate. Even with 1.6 million cases of COVID-19 (matching that of H1N1), we would only see 1/4th the death toll (which is still bad). However, unlike H1N1, this is spreading into more impoverished countries not ready to handle an epidemic.

So even with the low mortality rate of coronavirus, I believe this is going to be bad before it gets better. And the newest case in Okinawa only puts more stress on Japan. I thought we were out of the clear in Okinawa! But, for as long as we keep allowing tourists to come... we're susceptible to it.

But, can Okinawa survive without tourism? Can Japan? For one year? With the Japanese government subsidizing affected businesses, it shouldn't be a problem. They're gonna have to toss a lot at maintaining the Olympics' grounds for that year, though. It's gonna be an economical hit, around the world. One in Japan, too, without the Olympics for a year as many were counting on that additional foot traffic.

I'm still not worried, to a degree, because it's something out of my control. For as long as I wash my hands, etc., I should be fine.

As far as the Olympics go though, they need to be canceled for 2020 and postponed, but still, take place in Tokyo as planned, when this is said and done. If they open an Olympic rebid elsewhere, another year or skip the games this time around, Japan will hurt, hard, with as much invested.

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