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The fate of the Tokyo Olympics in the fourth wave of epidemic in Japan in a state of emergency


Original title: The fate of the Tokyo Olympics in a state of emergency in the fourth wave of epidemic in Japan

The epidemic in Japan continues to be severe. As of now, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in Japan has exceeded 710,000, of which 28,022 have been infected with the mutant virus. Earlier, Shigeru Omino, chairman of the Japanese Anti-epidemic Countermeasures Subcommittee, said at the House of Representatives’ Health, Welfare and Labor Committee meeting: “The fourth wave of epidemics has indeed arrived.”

In order to control the epidemic, the Japanese government has expanded the coverage of the emergency declaration to 10 prefectures, and the implementation time in some areas has also been extended to mid-to-late June. While tightening epidemic prevention and control measures, Japan is also trying to speed up its vaccination program, which is clearly behind other wealthy countries.

According to data from OurWorldinData, a data website under the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, as of May 23, the number of people in Japan who had received at least one dose of the new crown vaccine was only 6.13 million, accounting for about 4.8% of the Japanese population. This vaccination ratio is obvious in developed countries. behind.

In this situation, most people are opposed to the holding of the Tokyo Olympics. The latest polls show that nearly 60% of the people interviewed said that the Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee are still actively promoting the Tokyo Olympics, which will be held on July 23. attitude.

Japanese business tycoon and founder and CEO of Softbank Group Sun Zhengyi believes that continuing to promote the hosting of the Olympic Games will only lead to a continued decline in Japan’s GDP. According to the Cabinet Office of Japan, Japan’s actual gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 fell by 4.6% year-on-year, the largest drop since 1955, and the decline even exceeded the 2008 global financial crisis.

There are only two months left before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. During this period, Japan’s epidemic prevention measures and vaccination will become issues of global concern. And whether the Olympic Games will be held as scheduled, the participants and the local people will be protected against the epidemic during the hosting process. . . . . . All these are a big test for the Japanese government, the Olympic Committee, and the Olympic Organizing Committee.

The emergency declaration expanded to 10 districts

The fourth wave of the epidemic in Japan has yet to usher in the dawn.

According to Japanese media news, from May 18 to 22, the number of newly diagnosed new coronary pneumonia in Japan exceeded 5,000 in a single day, and it improved slightly on the 23rd, with the number of new cases in a single day dropping to 4,038. So far, the cumulative number of confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in Japan has exceeded 710,000, reaching 716,662 cases, including 12,318 deaths.

This wave of epidemics continues to spread, but it is also due to the accelerated spread of mutant viruses. Statistics show that in the week as of May 18, there were 8,760 newly infected patients with mutant viruses in Japan, which is the week with the largest number of newly infected patients with mutant viruses since the outbreak. At present, the cumulative number of infected people with the mutant virus has exceeded 20,000, reaching 28,022, making the effective control of the epidemic in Japan face even greater difficulties.

In this state, the Japanese government has further expanded the coverage area of ​​the emergency declaration, and the implementation time in some areas has also been extended to mid-to-late June.

After several rounds of expansion, the current emergency declarations in Japan have increased to 10 regions. Among them, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo prefectures will be implemented from April 25 to May 31; Fukuoka and Aichi prefectures will be implemented from May 12 to May 31; Hokkaido, Okayama, Hiroshima The prefecture is from May 16 to 31, and the Okinawa prefecture that implemented the emergency declaration from May 23 will continue until June 20.

Under the emergency declaration, the Japanese government requires people to avoid unnecessary outings, including during the day, especially after 8 pm; at the same time, avoid crowded places and try to avoid unnecessary inter-counties. Travel; restaurants should also be closed after 8pm. All restaurants must warn visitors to wear masks and take measures to prevent droplet infection, such as setting up boards that can block droplets or ensuring social distance, etc. Related measures.

While tightening epidemic prevention and control measures, Japan is also trying to speed up its vaccination program, which is clearly behind other wealthy countries.

According to data from OurWorldinData, a data website under the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, as of May 23, the number of people in Japan who had received at least one dose of the new crown vaccine was 6.13 million. Based on the 124 million population of Japan, only about 4.8% of the country’s population had at least one dose. The vaccination rate is in sharp contrast with the vaccination rate in other wealthy countries in the world.

Japan started vaccination in mid-February, later than most major economies. Initially, due to insufficient supply of imported new crown vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the implementation of vaccination in Japan was forced to slow down. When subsequent shipments began to gradually increase, problems such as manpower shortages and reservation system failures continued to occur, and the implementation of the overall vaccination plan was repeatedly blocked.

On the 24th, the Japanese government opened large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka, and launched a vaccination plan especially for the elderly, in order to vaccinate most of the elderly before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has previously stated that the vaccines for all senior citizens will be delivered to all municipalities before the end of June, and the vaccinations will be completed within July.

It is understood that in order to promote the Japanese government’s slow vaccination plan in the fight against the fourth wave of the epidemic, in the next three months, the vaccination center in Tokyo will operate 12 hours a day and vaccinate approximately 10,000 people every day. In Osaka, it is estimated that up to 5,000 people will be vaccinated every day. In addition, Aichi, Miyagi, and Gunma prefectures have also opened mass vaccination sites run by local governments.

The mass vaccination center for the elderly is using Moderna’s vaccine, which was approved by the Japanese regulatory agency on May 21. At the same time, the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is also approved. The Likang vaccine is temporarily out of Japan’s vaccination plan, mainly because of concerns that the AstraZeneca vaccine may cause blood clots.

There are currently three vaccines approved in Japan, including Moderna, AstraZeneca, and the first Pfizer vaccine approved and used. According to the latest agreement, Japan will purchase 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna and 120 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca.

In addition, Johnson & Johnson also stated on the 24th that the company has applied to Japanese regulators for approval of its new crown vaccine. If approved, it may start supplying Japan in early 2022.

The fate of the Japanese Olympic Games in a state of emergency

John Coates, chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Committee, stated on the 21st that the Olympic Games can still be held even if an emergency declaration is issued, which has aroused heated discussions among the people.

According to a national telephone survey conducted by Kyodo News on the 15th and 16th, nearly 60% of the interviewed people said that the Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled, and another 25.2% of the interviewees believed that it should be in an “empty field” (when there is no audience ); 12.6% of the respondents support limiting the number of on-site audiences.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee are still actively advancing the Tokyo Olympics, which will hold the opening ceremony on July 23.

From May 19 to 21, the 11th meeting of the Tokyo Olympic Coordination Committee of the International Olympic Committee was held. This is also the last coordination committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

IOC Chairman Thomas Bach said at the opening of the conference, “It’s only 65 days before the opening ceremony of the (Tokyo Olympics). We are now focusing on (event) delivery. Athletes from all over the world are very grateful for Japan’s hard work for this event. Prepared, and at the same time, look forward to a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games, when they will shine in the competition.”

With the Tokyo Olympics fully entering the operational delivery stage, Bach said that 75% of the residents of the Olympic Village have been vaccinated or can guarantee that they will be vaccinated before the Olympics. At the same time, he also said that we have every reason to believe that this number will far exceed 80% in the future. This vaccination ratio is partly due to a recent IOC initiative on vaccines, that is, Pfizer-BioNTech has signed a memorandum of understanding with IOC to donate the new crown vaccine to support the supply of vaccines needed for the Olympic Games.

After the meeting, Coates said, “People are now more aware than ever that this Olympics is safe for all participants and the Japanese people.” He emphasized, “We will continue to partner with Japan. Work together to do everything possible to provide everyone with a safe and reliable Olympic Games.”

After Coates delivered a speech, Seiko Hashimoto, the chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, said, “It’s only two months since I left the curtain ceremonies. Safe and reliable preparations for the Olympics are steadily underway, but I know that we must work harder. Ensure that the Japanese people can feel the safety of the Olympics.”

She also introduced that the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games will start to make preparations in three areas. “First, strictly control the number of participants entering Japan; second, strictly implement code of conduct inspections and health monitoring; third, conduct strict review and reconsideration of the medical system during the Olympic Games.”

In addition, during the meeting of the Coordinating Committee, it was announced that the IOC is introducing medical personnel from abroad to support the safe holding of the Tokyo Olympics. The meeting also pointed out that since September 2020, more than 54,000 athletes have participated in 430 major sports events, and all activities are held to ensure the safety of participants and local people, hoping to give the Tokyo Olympics more. Of holding confidence.

The Coordination Committee also emphasized that the recently published second edition of the “Manual of Action” is another important step forward for the Olympic Games. Earlier, Coates introduced the “action manual” that the organizer gave to all participants regarding health requirements as “a guide for a safe and successful Olympic Games.”

It is reported that the final version of the “Manual of Action” will be published in June. The Olympic Organizing Committee introduced that its team is already training to implement the measures and procedures in the manual, and plans to welcome Olympic participants to Japan for technical training and training in the next few weeks. Pre-match training camp and other activities. At the same time, the Coordinating Committee also emphasized that all relevant parties have shown full commitment and stated that they will strictly abide by the rules mentioned in the action manual during their stay in Japan.

The Olympics may continue to lower Japan’s GDP

Even though the Olympic Committee and the Olympic Organizing Committee have repeatedly released people’s confidence that the Olympics will be held safely, because the epidemic in Japan has not been effectively controlled, people everywhere, especially the Japanese people, continue to worry about the impact of the Olympics.

Japanese business tycoon, founder and CEO of SoftBank Group, Sun Zhengyi wrote on social media in recent days, “If 100,000 people from 200 countries flock to Japan, where vaccination is underdeveloped, it may spread the mutant virus. This leads to the loss of lives, an increase in the burden of subsidies in a state of emergency, a decline in GDP, and a drain on public patience.”

The current economic situation in Japan is not optimistic. According to an announcement by the Cabinet Office of Japan on May 18, Japan’s actual gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 fell by 4.6% year-on-year, the largest decline since 1955, and the decline even exceeded the 2008 global financial crisis. In the first quarter of this year, Japan’s actual gross domestic product (GDP) also performed poorly. The data showed a drop of 1.3% from the previous quarter and 5.1% at an annual rate.

He Jun, a senior researcher at Anbang Consulting, said in an interview with a reporter from 21st Century Business Herald, “Japan’s economic performance in the first quarter was not the same as that of other countries. The growth is relatively significant, but Japan is still showing negative growth.”

He Jun analyzed that this may be related to the continued implementation of Japan’s emergency declaration, “because Japan’s emergency is implemented in areas where Japan’s economy is more developed, such as Tokyo.” He judged that Japan’s economy in the second half of the year mainly depends on it. Regarding the situation of the epidemic, “if the epidemic is still not under control, it is expected that Japan’s economic recovery will still be difficult. If the epidemic can be controlled, the overall economy may improve.”

Regarding the impact of the Olympics on the economy, He Jun believes that Japan has now determined that overseas audiences will not be allowed to participate in the Olympics on site. This is equivalent to the Olympics’ inability to promote advertising, hotels and other industries, and more manpower and material resources will be needed during the Olympics. In terms of the protection of the epidemic prevention and control, “If it is held, I think this is almost a loss-making business.”

According to other news, the Tokyo Stock Exchange is considering extending trading hours. However, the need for this plan has received support from various parties such as brokers. There is no specific implementation plan in the near future. It is still unknown whether this plan can boost the Japanese economy.

He Jun said, “The trading hours of Japanese securities are indeed not long. According to the regulations of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the current trading hours are from 9 am to 3 pm, and there is a one-hour lunch break in between, which is accumulated throughout the day. Trading time is only 5 hours. In contrast, the NYSE is 6 and a half hours and Singapore is 7 hours.” He also mentioned that most Japanese companies’ performance disclosures are after 3 pm, but this At that time, the market in Japan was closed, and the response caused by the disclosure of the performance of Japanese companies can often only be reflected in overseas markets.

He Jun introduced that enhanced trading activities generally go through two paths, one is exchange mergers and the other is to extend the time of a single exchange, or to provide different investment products in different time periods. “Therefore, if Japan decides to increase the trading hours, it will definitely be attractive to investors, and it is expected to have a positive effect on the Japanese economy.”

“From a practical perspective, if you really want to extend the trading time, you need to make technical adjustments to the system, modify the trading rules, etc., but this is not difficult. The most important thing is to see how determined Japan is to reform.” He Jun emphasized .

(Author: He Liuying)

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Editor in charge: Zhang Mei

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