Tokyo: An online petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled was submitted Friday to the Tokyo government. So far the online application to cancel the Tokyo Olympics has fetched over 350,000 signatures. The rollout of the petition comes with Tokyo, Osaka and several other areas under a state of emergency with coronavirus infections rising – particularly the new variants. The state of emergency is to expire May 31 but expected to also expand to other prefectures in Japan. The already postponed Olympics are to open in just under three months July 23rd.
The petition will also be sent to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach. He cancelled a planned trip to Japan this month due to surging cases of COVID-19 in the country. The petition will also be submitted to the International Paralympics Committee (IPLC) president, Andrew Parsons.
Seventy to 80% of Japanese citizens in polls say they want the Olympics cancelled or postponed. However, till date there is no indication this will happen.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto, and Bach have repeatedly said the Olympics will go on as scheduled.
The petition was organised by Kenji Utsunomiya, a lawyer who has run several times for Tokyo governor. It registered about 50,000 signatures in the first 24 hours after being launched May 5th. Utsunomiya said athletes are the victim here. He asserted that the Tokyo and the Japanese government should have decided to cancel the Games earlier.