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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/20/21

Will Japan Hold the Olympics?

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Message Fujimi Derzen

Shimane Tatsuya, the governor of the western prefecture of Japan, Maruyama, recently announced his intention to call off the Olympic torch relay in the region. He explained his decision by the difficult state of affairs in Tokyo, which, he said, continues to be the main source of the spread of coronavirus infection, and the holding of such events can aggravate the situation all over the country.

It is worth noting that earlier the Japanese Minister for Administrative and Systemic Reform Taro Kono even allowed the cancellation of the Olympics. The reason was still called the same - COVID 19. However, is this so actually? Are the pragmatic Japanese, who today have managed to invest considerable funds in preparation for Tokyo 2020, allegedly due to coronavirus, will be able to abandon the Olympics, which are announced to be held without spectators?

Yes, they will be able. But it's not about coronavirus. In this case, the pragmatism of the Japanese lies not on the surface and is even more far-sighted than could be imagined.

The fact is that the relatively recent Prime Minister of Japan, E. Suga, inherited from his predecessor quite a lot of unresolved issues. There is a territorial dispute with the PRC regarding the ownership of the Senkaku Islands (Chinese Diaoyuidao), Tokyo's continuing but unfounded claims to the Kuril Islands, economic recovery from the global pandemic and much more. In all these problems, Japan expects, and I must say sometimes receives, support from its Western ally - the United States.

Olympic rings without rims.svg.
Olympic rings without rims.svg.
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The newly formed White House administration led by with Joe Biden, has repeatedly stated that their predecessors have taken insufficient measures to counter the spread of coronavirus infection, which resulted in a large number of victims in the country. The very day after the inauguration, Biden signed ten decrees that provide for tougher measures to combat with COVID-19. And of course, having thoroughly tried on the mask of the world hegemony, the United States will now do everything possible to ensure that other countries follow their example, primarily the allied countries.

Today, Biden's desire to antagonize Trump may cost many world athletes one of the most important events in their lives - the Tokyo Olympics. Fueling Hopes for the United States' support in solving its problems, Japan will do everything possible to please its trans-Pacific partner. In addition, they need to pay the debt for entering the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership - the economic brainchild of Beijing.

The best way for Tokyo to build long-term cooperation with Washington, is to demonstrate its subordination. And the cancellation of the Olympics under the pretext of a difficult situation with coronavirus can become a bargaining chip in bilateral relations.

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German journalist. Phd candidate. Cover geopolitics issues.
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Will Japan Hold the Olympics?

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