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I portabandiere nelle Olimpiadi di Tokyo.

Bittersweet Games budget, Japan government consensus falls

TOKYO. – Marcell Jacobs returns to Italy today and, with him, the last part of the most successful Italian expedition in history. In Japan, however, despite the third place in the medal table with 27 gold medals, there is no air of celebration and the day after the end of the Olympics was one of reflections, including those of the political consequences.

In the surroundings of the Japanese capital, there are still the curtains of “Tokyo 2020” and foreigners who, as insiders, were able to enjoy the city for a day away from the now deserted premises or -the temporary ones- already discontinued.

It is too early to understand what the legacy of a historic and undoubtedly unique Olympics will be, but in the meantime in Japan it is time to take stock and figures. Games organizers who praised themselves for hosting a “safe and secure” event are countered by data on the spread of Covid across the country.

A rate of positivity certainly “low” within the “bubble” set for athletes and professionals during the Olympic Games, according to the numbers provided by Hidemasa Nakamura, only 0.02%: 138 positives out of 600,000 tests carried out.

But the Japanese media also highlight the more than 170 thousand new cases of Covid found outside the ‘bubble’ during the entire duration of the Games. According to data recorded by GPS and mobile phones, on the day of the opening ceremony, around the Olympic stadium in Tokyo there were 3,000 more people than the daily average at that time.

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And during the other days, crowds of do-it-yourself audiences were built around the competitions as well. Figures that would have tested the resilience of Japanese healthcare. This is also due to the willingness of many Japanese to participate in the long-awaited party atmosphere of the Olympics, in contrast to the government’s recommendations.

“I cannot deny that the Olympics had an indirect impact on the virus wave,” Nobuhiko Okabe, director of the Kawasaki City Public Health Institute, told the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, who also tells the story of a doctor from living room. Carefully he was forced to leave his hospital in a time of emergency to go to the emergency room at the men’s soccer final in Yokohama.

News that only fueled the discontent of those who, even before the start of the Games, supported the cancellation theory. Proof of this was the non-Tokyo 2020 committee groups that protested along the entrances to the stadium during yesterday’s closing ceremony.

At the expense of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who denied the possibility that the Tokyo Olympics are linked to the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases. The fact is, according to a survey by the same Japanese newspaper, the consent rate for Suga’s government has dropped even further, from 31% to 28%, according to a survey by Asahi Shimbun.

However, another recent poll showed that 56% of voters believe that the decision to host the Olympics was the correct one, much higher than the 32% who expressed the opposite opinion.