Rakuten chief revives calls to cancel Tokyo 2020 Olympics amid rising Covid-19 cases
One of Japan’s most prominent businessmen, Rakuten chief executive Hiroshi Mikitani, has urged the country to reconsider staging the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer.
The delayed Games are set to begin on 23 July despite widespread opposition among the population and rising Covid-19 cases in the capital.
“Honestly, I feel that the Olympics this summer are just far too risky. I am against them,” Mikitani wrote on Twitter.
“I feel truly very sorry for the athletes, but they are not the only ones living wholeheartedly.”
His comments come amid continued setbacks to preparations for Tokyo 2020, which was postponed last year.
North Korea announced on Monday that it would not be sending a team, making it the first country to pull out of the Games.
Osaka, meanwhile, formally requested to be removed from the Olympic torch relay route as it too attempts to manage an increase in Covid-19 cases.
Despite continued unease in Japan, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organisers have committed to holding the Games this summer.