Monday 19 July 2021 10:48 am

Toyota pulls Olympic related TV ads in Japan on eve of Games amid public opposition to Tokyo 2020 going ahead

Major Olympic sponsor Toyota says it will not air Tokyo 2020-related TV advertising in Japan during the Games amid negative public sentiment towards the event.

The Japanese car-maker has also decided not to send any executives to the opening ceremony, which takes place on Friday.

More than half of Japanese are opposed to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics taking place this summer owing to Covid-19 concerns, polls show.

“We will not be airing any commercials related to the Games in Japan,” said a Toyota spokesperson.

“It is true that Toyota will not be attending the opening ceremony, and the decision was made considering various factors including no spectators.”

Games officials have banned spectators from all Olympic venues, despite crowds of almost 10,000 being allowed at Japanese baseball games.

Three quarters of repondents to a poll by the Asahi newspaper agreed with the spectator ban, while 55 per cent opposed the Games going ahead.

Tokyo is in a state of emergency for a fourth time due to rising Covid cases.

Two South African footballers have become the first competitors to test positive for coronavirus in the athletes’ village.

Six unnamed Team GB track and field athletes, meanwhile, have been forced to isolate after a fellow passenger on their flight to Tokyo subsequently tested positive.

They must return two negative PCR tests before being allowed to resume training.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics begins on Friday 23 July and is due to run until 8 August. The Paralympic Games is scheduled to start on 24 August and conclude on 5 September.