It’s official: Tokyo 2020 is a “Japanese Only” Olympics: Japanese living abroad still allowed to attend, not foreigners. (UPDATED: This probably includes Japanese who have given up their J citizenship.)

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Hi Blog. I’ve been writing about Japan’s racialized attitude towards Covid for well over a year now (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), which is, essentially: Japanese have been treated as less infectious than foreigners traveling under the same conditions. This was seen most clearly in the racist border policies that have refused all foreigners re-entry (including those with valid visas) but let in all Japanese.

I suspected that this poor science would play a part in the Japan Olympic Committee’s recent decision to ban all “overseas spectators” (their wording: “kaigai no kankyaku“) from attending the Olympics. And I suspected that this would only apply to foreigners.

Well, the Japan Times reported today that this has precisely come to pass: “According to the Japanese organizing committee, foreign nationals made up roughly 10% of a total of 80,000 volunteers before the pandemic forced the one-year postponement of the games. Japanese citizens living abroad are expected to be allowed to volunteer, according to the officials.” [emphasis added]

So to recap: Japanese citizens living overseas are not counted as “overseas spectators”. They have that immunity to Covid by dint of their passport.

This is despite:

  • The rest of the developed world vaccinating at far higher rates than Japan is at the moment.
  • The fact that those “overseas spectators” bearing proof of vaccination are less likely to spread Covid than the (almost all unvaccinated) Japanese.
  • The fact that, again, any gathering during a pandemic is potentially a superspreader event. The danger being posed to the Japanese public by holding these Olympics with spectators keeps getting ignored in the GOJ’s singleminded attempt at recouping their investment.

And now the IOC has in effect “fully respected and accepted” this exclusionary Olympics.  It’s the world’s “first ever without overseas spectators“.

No.  It’s the first Olympics without “foreign” spectators.  Overseas spectators are okay if they’re Japanese.

So as predicted, welcome to Japan’s first “Japanese Only” Olympics. As long as you have a Japanese passport, you are immune to Covid and have privileged access to Our Games. SITYS. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.

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PS:  I know the article says that Japanese “volunteers” living abroad will get in, not “spectators”.  But do you really think the Japanese government is going to make that distinction?  It’s already not making a distinction between Japanese in Japan and Japanese living abroad for re-entry.  You think officials are going to say, “Oh, you’re not going to actually watch the games?  Just come in to the event as a volunteer?  Oh, well, that’s okay, then!  Come right on in!”

Similar is the distinction that has NOT been made between NJ Residents and foreign tourists.  I’ve talked about that here.  And that distinction is still not being officially made now.  So for those thinking, “Well, I live in Japan, I’ve got tickets, I’ll get in!”, I say wait and see.  My read, based upon decades of study of how the government treats NJ Residents (and reaffirmed by its blanket border bans of NJ over the past year), is that I’ll be very surprised if any distinction is finally made.  D.

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UPDATE MARCH 24:  Debito.org Reader RO points out that according to the IACE Travel Agency (which is legally liable for their information), even overseas “Japanese” who NO LONGER HAVE JAPANESE CITIZENSHIP (because they gave it up and took another nationality) can still re-enter Japan.  In other words, what constitutes “overseas Japanese” is a matter of having Japanese blood, even without having Japanese legal status.  These are racialized paradigms for what constitutes a “Japanese”, and that is related to this blog entry because they will factor into border controls concerning the Olympics.

RO saysApparently former Japanese nationals who have renounced their Japanese citizenship are still allowed to enter Japan, if they can show proof of their former Japanese citizenship. See the below post from someone else.

——————–
After I saw the post of someone here that is a spouse of a Japanese flew to Japan without a visa, and only holding a koseki tohon was allowed in, I did some digging.
I am a child of a Japanese and thought a special circumstance visa was necessary even for short term (less than 90 days).
On a Japanese travel website updated March 8, I saw this…
アメリカ国籍の日本人(日本国籍を除籍した方)、または日本国籍の配偶者や子供は日本に入国できますか?
Can Japanese nationals of the United States (those who have removed Japanese nationality), or spouses and children of Japanese nationality enter Japan?
Answer:
短期間(90日以内)であれば、下記の条件で滞在が可能です。アメリカ国籍の方は引き続き入国制限の対象となるため、日本入国には特別な書類が必要です。 管轄地域の領事館にて、除籍謄本などで日本国籍を除籍したこと、または日本人の配偶者・子供であることを証明できる書類を用意できれば問題ありません。滞在が長期になる場合は、別途、手続きが必要になりますのでご注意ください。法務省のWEBサイトもあわせてご確認ください。
For a short period (within 90 days), you can stay under the following conditions. American citizens will continue to be subject to immigration restrictions, so special documents are required to enter Japan. There is no problem if the consulate in your jurisdiction can prepare documents that can prove that you have removed your Japanese nationality with a copy of your removal, or that you are a spouse or child of a Japanese national. Please note that a separate procedure is required for long-term stays. Please also check the Ministry of Justice website.
So in other words, if you obtain a document proving you removed your Japanese citizenship, from your consulate (such as a koseki tohon), you won’t need a visa is how I’m understanding this. No where does it mention a visa, but you may have to be in the visa exempt countries.
Link (see bottom Q/A section)

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26 comments on “It’s official: Tokyo 2020 is a “Japanese Only” Olympics: Japanese living abroad still allowed to attend, not foreigners. (UPDATED: This probably includes Japanese who have given up their J citizenship.)

  • David Markle says:

    I pointed this out to several news organizations and overseas media reporters. The only response I got was an invitation to write a letter-to-the-editor. “Our sports dept. has run several articles on this, ho, hum.”

    I guess that’s the breaks when you get to be host, it’s your party.

    Reply
  • Jaocnanoni says:

    Now there’s one last question left: Will visible minorities living in Japan be let into the stadiums, or will access be limited to Japanese-looking people only, to not “scare away” overly concerned wajin.

    Reply
  • Ah, now eventually you do plan to have おもてなし in your, in your おもてなし Olympics right? Hello? Hello? *opens COVID tracking app and taps camera lens on phone*
    Hello? Yes?

    Oh, special salute of the one fingered variety to the IOC too.

    Reply
    • Baudrillard says:

      Does anyone else here feel this is like a self fulfilling prophecy of post modernism? That is to say, Japan creates a “sign” おもてなし, which actually does not really reflect reality; it is how Japanese would like to see themselves.
      A few years on, the rift between reality and the “sign” because wider and wider to the point of ridicule; “welcome to Japan” when no one can come to Japan.
      Ditto the bit about Japanese cheering foreign athletes equally. Another myth. And the bit about the poor in keepers deprived of foreign income..well, whose fault is that?
      Their own.

      Oh, the irony.

      Japan is……no longer a place even worth visiting, and you cannot anyway. I feel we are observers to a slowly sinking ship, while the band plays on.

      Its a geopolitical disaster also. A truly democratic and open Japan would be a great counter weight to the nightmare that is China, but sadly Japan’s post fascistic dynasties have chosen to muddy those distinctions by going back to non democratic and xenophobic isolationism.

      Reply
      • The Eternal East- the takeaway from Japan since the (18/19)80s is they put out a lot of misleading “signs” and messages, invariably portraying Japan in an unrealistically positive light, and young NJs flock there..only to be mentally scarred from cognitive dissonance or worst still, have their best working years taken from them. Or interns as indentured servitude.

        Holding the Olympics was one such sign. “Japan is back” “Japan is open for business”. None of these are remotely descriptive of reality but rather desperate advertisements from a failing brand, that is Japan.
        “In fact the whole of Japan is a pure invention,” Oscar Wilde wrote in 1889. “Wilde was ahead of his time. We now have a word, albeit a contentious one, for the phenomenon he touched upon, if incidentally, in “The Decay of Lying.” It is called Orientalism. Orientalism meant “the eternal East.” In his account of Japan Wilde left out only the quotation marks, for he was writing about the simple, serene, perfume-scented “Japan” of the Orientalist’s imaginings.”
        https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/smith-japan.html

        “The novelist Kenzaburo Oe complains often about the two images of Japan the West now entertains. There is the old Japan of samurai and Zen gardens, and the new Japan of gadgets and efficiency.”

        Sure, he can complain, but its actually the Japanese Government and a whole swathe of society that encourages these illusions.

        Reply
  • pre COVID, the Olympics was the ticket that would turn the economy around through massive construction projects and projected tourism, along with Abes immi reform. Trying to understand how this will all work post COVID. No foreigners allowed, therefore none of their currency, and the hospitality industry remains vacant? Is hosting the Olympics now just a face saving exercise? All the billions? spent on those construction projects..where is the return?.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    In this mornings news shows (3/25), UTY did a pretty long feature on the “Absent foreigners” in the upcoming Japan Olympics. I listened carefully, and did not hear a single mention of anything not related to the interests of Japan. I realize it is for domestic consumption, but nothing about Japanese passport holders being able to come back to Japan with tickets they purchased overseas…nothing. I assume it is a blackout order from higher ups (conspiracy theory?) that don’t want it mentioned or they just haven’t put it together themselves yet. The only thing even remotely NJ related was an opinion by one of the panelists that thought it was the responsibility of Japan to provide a safe environment for Japanese. No mention of a safe environment for NJ. Even the lawyer on the panel was silent and he usually has a vocal opinion about everything. It was all about the poor Japanese shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and inn managers who will not be benefiting from the influx of foreigner money, we poor Japanese.

    There are a few news stories overseas about the tough time overseas foreigner ticket holders will be having to try to get their money back for tickets, some losing many thousands of dollars in cancellation fees, and fees of all sorts.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/23/sports/olympics/tokyo-olympics-ticket-refunds.html

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    It’s Official: Foreign Ticket Holders Are S—–d

    https://tinyurl.com/khrw7fnz

    “The Tokyo Olympics barred foreign fans. A ticket company won’t offer full refunds.

    Thousands of American fans won’t receive full refunds for their Tokyo Olympics tickets – despite being told last week that, due to COVID-19, foreign spectators won’t be allowed to attend the rescheduled Games.”

    Still nothing about overseas Japanese being allowed in with these same tickets NJ have to eat.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Some folks are at least thinking along the lines of selling/giving them to people in Japan or (Japanese passport holders residing out of the country, but its a no go so far). Hopefully its just a matter of time before they catch on.

    “Ken Hanscom (@KenHanscom) / Twitter

    It is worth noting that there does not appear to be an option at this time to keep your tickets and receive them as PDFs for family or friends in Japan which had been mentioned by another ATR. “

    Reply
  • According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare official tracker, Japan has one of the lowest vaccination rate in the developed world.
    As of March 26th 2021 they’ve vaccinated a total of 822,869 people. This is not the daily rate, this is the TOTAL vaccinations and among those, only 41,204 people TOTAL got their second shot, aka, they’re fully vaccinated.
    Looking at the dates also it appears they’re not vaccinating anyone on weekends and each facility (on their last day) is vaccinating an average of 23 people/day.

    It baffles me on why Japan is taking it painfully slow considering that when they want to they do things really fast, try to go to any large hospital and see how many people are being visited in any given day.

    https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/vaccine_sesshujisseki.html

    Reply
    • -when they want to they do things really fast.
      I see no evidence of this, they dither even in disaster (Kobe, Fukushima etc).
      I saw a satire in The Negi or Japanzine, “Road of the Ringu” in which Gandalf goes to Japan to warn them but “as he is an outsider they ignore and hope the problem will go away by itself”
      Yeah, thats par the course. Hence the satire strip. Anyone got a screenshot?

      Reply
    • https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-japan-pfizer-idUSL4N2KL1QS
      In February there was a supposed syringe shortage in Japan, not sure about today but in early March at least some hospitals still had this problem and resorted to using insulin syringes – sadly, the article suggests that this works only for fairly skinny people (the part about less than 10mm fat under the skin) –
      https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210309/k10012905751000.html

      Although I’m really happy that the vaccination finally started, this suggests that whoever was responsible for the rollout in Japan was incompetent in their planning – there are constant news of vaccine shortages in many (if not most countries), but I haven’t read any piece about a syringe shortage outside Japan.

      Reply
      • “whoever was responsible for the rollout in Japan was incompetent in their planning”
        I would cynically suggest that in their typically leaderless fashion, that so called personm in charge wasnt really in charge and was waiting for a “consensus” to emerge so he (I assume a male in Japan) could thus afford any individual blame if things go wrong. And they may well do.
        Taking jobsworth-ism to extremes under the guise of collectivism. But I have read certain cultural texts that claim businesspeople trying to do business in Japan are wrong to assume there is any one decision maker. I do recall even Sony or some such company in Japan needed a ten out of ten consensus to do anything; so if the grumpy oyaji in the corner wasnt enthusiastic, then the other nine people would defer to intertia. Its got to be unanimous.

        Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      I’ve always harbored the suspicion that Japan is hoping for a vaccine to be domestically developed/reverse-engineered so as to provide yet another opportunity to splash tax ¥ around by the trillions in unaccountable non-transparent ways (with associated brown envelope kickbacks and amakudari). You know, not one of those ‘dodgy gaijin’ vaccines, but something made BY Japanese people FOR unique Japanese people’s needs. And of course, the rest of the developed world wouldn’t subject the efficacy of a Japanese vaccine to close scrutiny. And the Japanese government could conceal/present such data any way it wants to make it look good too (such as all the official data manipulation under Abe).
      But mostly it’s about sticking snouts in tax ¥ troughs under the guise of national pride.
      Oh! Look! Here’s a candidate!
      http://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles/photo/30932742

      Japan’s AnGes speeds toward 2021 rollout in ‘vaccine war’
      REUTERS/ASAHI June 10, 2020 (NOTE OLD ARTICLE)

      OSAKA–Japanese biotech AnGes Inc. expects its coronavirus vaccine to be ready as early as the first half of 2021, if it can overcome supply chain and production hurdles, the company’s founder said.

      The Osaka-based firm had a head start in the potential COVID-19 vaccine development by repurposing its hypertension vaccine that had already passed through high safety and regulatory standards and other hurdles.

      Ryuichi Morishita told Reuters that Japan’s health ministry and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency “already had strong confidence in our product” because of that experience.

      The comments come as Japan’s government has earmarked $1.3 billion (140 billion yen) in its latest budget for vaccine production as it seeks to put the coronavirus vaccine into use and hopes to host a delayed Tokyo Olympics next year.

      Drugmakers around the world are scrambling to develop treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the highly infectious new coronavirus which has so far killed more than 400,000 people worldwide.

      There are 10 vaccines in clinical trials and dozens more in preclinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organization, but mass production and allocation remain significant challenges.
      Morishita also warned that shortages in everything from drug compounds to glass vials, as hundreds of institutes and companies carry out research simultaneously, have emerged in what he calls a “vaccine war” and could complicate production.

      AnGes’s candidate is one of Japan’s best hopes at a coronavirus vaccine, as development is further along than some being produced by other firms such as Shionogi & Co. and Daiichi Sankyo Co.

      The AnGes candidate is a plasmid DNA vaccine that disables the connection between the protein spikes of the coronavirus and receptors in human cells.

      Early results from tests in mice show increased antibody production, and tests in 30 human volunteers are due to begin in July, with first results expected in September.

      By contrast, other candidates such as U.S. firm Moderna Inc.’s vaccine are based on messenger RNA (mRNA) that instructs human cells to make specific coronavirus proteins that produce an immune response. Other varieties are based on inactivated forms of the virus.

      Morishita, who launched AnGes 20 years ago out of Osaka University, has seen the company’s market valuation surge more than fivefold to $2.4 billion since it announced its coronavirus campaign in March.

      “The future of COVID-19 is very mysterious,” said Morishita, adding that any vaccine would likely need constant tweaking as the virus mutates and returns.
      ENDS

      Reply
  • CoSport (from New Jersey) will not refund people the ticket fees.
    They are the only company that can sell Olympic tickets in the USA.

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    This article appeared in the Japan Times today. I will post it its entirety as it is important I think. Comment after

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/03/29/national/japan-coronavirus-tracking-app/

    “The Japan Times

    NATIONAL
    How Japan tracks arrivals from abroad to curb the spread of new virus strains
    BY MAGDALENA OSUMI
    STAFF WRITER

    Mar 29, 2021
    Looking to prevent coronavirus infections imported from abroad, Japan has beefed up surveillance of people quarantining after entering the country.

    Despite stringent border controls — from banning new entries, COVID-19 testing upon arrival and a 14-day quarantine requirement — new virus variants have been found in the country, prompting the government to suspect that arrivals may not have been self-isolating as strictly as they should have.

    As a result, Japan introduced a new location-tracking app earlier this month to make sure that those quarantining actually do so.

    At present, only Japanese citizens and non-Japanese with legal residence status are allowed to re-enter the country, while nonresident foreign nationals are granted permission to enter only under exceptional circumstances.

    How does the tracking system work?

    When people arrive at the airport, for instance, they are required to share their contact information, such as phone number and email address, with officials at the Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants (HCO) affiliated with the health ministry. They will also be asked to download a tracking app called OEL (Overseas Entrants Locator) and turn on their GPS location setting so that their whereabouts can be tracked during the quarantine period.

    Since March, immigration officers at Haneda and Narita airports have been checking whether the apps are correctly installed. Those who do not have a smartphone need to rent one at the airport.

    During the quarantine period, which starts one day after entering Japan, they will receive notification messages from OEL telling them to click “I’m here now” on the app, which will send their location to officials. Previously known as Overseas Student Safety Management Assistance, the app was originally used to help locate Japanese students studying abroad in times of disaster or other emergencies.

    “We’re making sure that all entrants can be reached,” a health ministry official said. “And that’s the main change in our efforts to tighten control.”

    Those who fail to report their whereabouts will be contacted by Skype or email. Skype video calls will be also used for random checks to confirm whether people are self-isolating where they should be. Quarantine can be done at home or other locations of the individual’s choosing.

    How does it work from the operational side?

    The HCO has some 100 officials who send messages to confirm locations at least once a day, call people placed under quarantine and supervise the center’s operations.

    The number of people entering Japan in February, including Japanese and foreign nationals, dropped significantly to just 34,751, according to the Justice Ministry.

    Officials check to see if people entering Japan have installed a location-tracking app on their smartphones at Narita Airport on March 18. | KYODO

    The figure in December, when Japan had relaxed its entry ban, was 127,343, giving a hint of what it could be in the months to come.

    “We’re currently working on an improved system that would catch if someone has left the place of quarantine” with higher accuracy, a health ministry official in charge of anti-coronavirus measures said, adding that the ministry is planning to increase the number of staff.

    How are other countries enforcing quarantine after overseas travel?

    It has been a headache for other countries as well, prompting some governments to adopt rigorous quarantine measures and enforce penalties for violators.

    For instance, anyone arriving in the U.K. must quarantine for 10 days, undergo tests for COVID-19 and follow national lockdown rules. Those who breach quarantine rules may face a penalty of up to £10,000 (about ¥1.5 million) or imprisonment.

    Meanwhile, Singapore last year introduced electronic tags to ensure that incoming travelers, including citizens and foreign residents, comply with local quarantine regulations. According to media reports, a Singapore court last month sentenced a British man to two weeks in jail after he sneaked out of his hotel room to meet his then-fiancee while under quarantine.

    Is the new tracking system effective in curbing the spread of the new coronavirus, including the new variants?

    Yes, to an extent. But not completely.

    The government has high hopes that the technology will help with surveillance. But the app may not necessarily help achieve 100% location accuracy, as there is a margin of error up to 100 meters.

    What is more important, a health ministry official overseeing quarantine procedures said, was whether those who are supposed to self-isolate after entering Japan actually adhere to the rules.

    In fact, many people coming from abroad have said that they were told it was all right to visit a convenience store, a supermarket or a drugstore outside busy hours if they could not find anyone to help them purchase food or necessities.

    Officials hope that the written assurance they are obligated to sign, pledging they will abide by the rules, will be a deterrent.

    A revised quarantine law also says that anyone who gives false information may face up to six months of imprisonment or a fine of up to ¥500,000. Health ministry officials, however, see the penalties for noncompliance as a last resort.

    New variants in Japan
    As of March 23, there have been 649 reported cases of the new variants of the coronavirus, which are believed to be up to 70% more transmissible, since the first case in December when a Japanese man arriving from Britain tested positive.

    He was found to have dined with a group of people within the first few days after returning home, spreading the new strain of the virus to other participants of the gathering.

    Back then, the 14-day self-isolation period was merely a nonbinding voluntary request. But with the spread of the variants, Japan has adopted stricter measures for those entering the nation from abroad regardless of nationality. They must:

    Submit negative COVID-19 test results before they depart for Japan
    Undergo another coronavirus test after arrival
    Sign a written assurance that they will adhere to all quarantine rules
    If they don’t comply, they may have their names disclosed, or even have their residence status revoked if the individual is a foreign resident.

    People arriving from 26 countries where the new variant is rampant will need to undergo further measures, namely staying at a designated facility and taking a further test for the virus on the third day after entering the country.”

    Here is the proof that those with Japanese passports have been and continue to be able to enter the country uninhindered except for the self-quarantine restrictions and tracer app. What surprises me is the number of people even in February who entered the country even under a world wide travel ban. Most of these I suspect are Japanese nationals returning from abroad. Given some, no doubt, are foreign nationals, the article does not specify them by nationality. That is still a lot of people entering the country but not nearly as many as December of last year at the peak of the pandemic lockdowns.

    Margin of error of up to 100 meters? What would keep people from leaving their smartphone on their pillow while they step out to stretch their legs?

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Yeah, I noticed this too. Why are 30,000 Japanese traveling in and out of the country during a global pandemic? And that’s just one month!
      And where do they go?
      ‘Foreign countries’.
      So why not let resident NJ in?

      Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Here is some things of interest. It is fluid and may change, but at the moment it seems that in fact buyers of tickets abroad may use them IF THEY ARE ELIGIBLE TO ENTER JAPAN. Or they may give/sell them to people already in Japan. I assume “TOCOG” is Tokyo Olympic Committee Organizing Group” since they may have not wanted to use the word committee twice in the title.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/KingdomSG

    “There is conflicting info about Event Tickets for Tokyo 2020. We have received Official communication from TOCOG. KSG must select tickets to return and be cancelled. Tickets issued internationally REMAIN VALID. There is not a blanket cancellation of all Int. tickets to Tokyo 2020.”

    Games Postponement to 2021 (kingdomsg.com)

    “With that said and as a matter of clarification, thus, as for those people who are residing in Japan or overseas residents who will be eligible to enter Japan (regardless of whether or not the person holds the Tokyo 2020 tickets), in compliance with the immigration rules of Japan (including regulations on both entry and during the stay), and if they can attend a games session using a ticket as long as they comply with such established rules, then they will use the ticket. Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee won’t cancel tickets unless they are submitted for a return.”

    So that pretty much verifies it. People with tickets who are allowed to enter the country can use those tickets at the Olympics. So that means Japanese passport holders and former Japanese nationals along with a few NJ who have very special reasons to be able to get in, will be able to enter Japan for the games.

    Here is the written pledge that everyone must sign when entering the country. Includes Japanese nationals as well as NJ I assume:

    Microsoft Word – リンクB・誓約書(英文) (mofa.go.jp)

    Here is the Ministry of Justice website:

    https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page22e_000921.html

    Reply
  • David Markle says:

    Olympic Qualifying Events Consider Cancellation on account of
    Fairness of the Competition and Reluctance to Go To Japan.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2021/04/02/more-sports/swimming/fina-olympic-diving-qualifier/

    “According to the source, FINA and Olympic organizers are mulling whether to cancel the April 18-23 event at Tokyo Aquatics Center after some of the participating teams expressed their reluctance to travel to Japan.

    The risk of corona virus infection among athletes and officials as well as the fairness of the competition are thought to be some of the factors that have influenced FINA’s decision making.”

    Sure they might be concerned about catching the V in Japan, but somehow I don’t think this is all of the story. Could it be that they are not willing to submit to the conditions Japan has for entering the country such as extensive pre-testing, the jail like quarantine conditions, the tracking apps, the minders sitting outside your room in case you forget a rule like no coughing or sneezing, or wear a mask, or goodness forbid, actually come into contact with a native person. Maybe being fined, jailed, or deported is kind of a kill joy when it comes to actually performing a sport and not just being the beneficiary of its second hand knock off effects like broadcasting revenue and economic benefits.

    Then there is the “fairness” reason. I honestly don’t know what to make of this. Could it be that the FINA is concerned that NJ athletes may be competing in an environment that is not equal to the benefits that the Japanese competitors may be enjoying? Maybe submitting to all the protocols and restrictions that NJ have to submit to, along with not even having the benefit of enthusiastic supporters and fans from home is considered “unfair.” Does this call into question the “fairness” of the Olympic games themselves? That would be interesting.

    Reply
    • Jaocnanoni says:

      I suppose the fairness argument has something to do with the last round of training just before the competition as final preparation. Hard to do if you are locked away in a small room until the competition while Japanese competitors are free to do their proper final preparation on site (or a similar site).

      Reply
  • David Markle says:

    These articles clarify things a bit. Not looking good for Tokyo.

    https://tinyurl.com/cs9f83n4

    “NHK has learned that a water polo test event for the Olympics scheduled to open on Saturday in Tokyo will be canceled.

    Concern is growing about the possible impact the cancellation of such events will have on the Tokyo Games”

    FINA Cancels All Three Remaining Olympic Qualifiers in Japan (insidesynchro.org)

    “FINA took this decision shortly after the Japanese Swimming Federation communicated its planned COVID-19 protocols for the event. 

    On April 3, it updated its website to reflect the cancellation of all three Olympic Qualification Tournaments and to pull them out of Japan. 

    “1. A very negative opinion from FINA’s Task Force on the COVID-19 plan sent by Tokyo. In their view, this plan will not properly ensure health and protection guarantees to participants;
    2. A new communication from Tokyo requesting FINA responsibility for the additional costs related with the implementation of COVID-19 countermeasures;
    3. Reports from National Federations that Japanese Embassies around the world are still not ready to launch the visa procedure;
    4. The mandatory three-day quarantine is requiring a change of travel plans for ITOs, TDC members, and FINA staff. This has obviously some financial consequences and some withdrawals have already been communicated to FINA.”
    FINA also criticized the Japanese government, which in its opinion “did not take all the necessary measures to ensure a successful and fair organization of this competition.

    the governing body would immediately take all the necessary steps to find an alternative date and location “

    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210406_03/

    “NHK has learned that a water polo test event for the Olympics scheduled to open on Saturday in Tokyo will be canceled.”

    And in a bit of clever editing NHK says: “The events were cancelled because of strict Covid restrictions on athletes.”

    Notice they forget to mention “foreign athletes” are the ones who will be strictly quarantined and controlled giving the impression that ALL athletes were going to be under the same restrictions. Not good NHK!

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