Why Suga is so determined to go ahead with the Tokyo Olympics
The Financial Times quoted Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, in an article addressing the political and practical considerations involved in proceeding with the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The article notes that there has been a determination by the government and organizing committee officials to proceed with the summer games, which reflects "a mixture of electoral politics, one-upmanship on China and practical calculation by Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s prime minister."
There is a common theory in Japan that the International Olympic Committee ("IOC") is forcing Japan to hold the games. However, the article notes that the "IOC had limited leverage, because Japan had relatively little to lose financially from a cancellation." Kishner added that “[m]ost of the money that Japan put in has already been spent on infrastructure, hotels, the Olympic Village and things like that.”
The article expounds that the interests of the IOC and Japan's prime minister have fortunately aligned, and "[u]nless the coronavirus situation deteriorates markedly over the next few weeks, the Olympic cauldron will be lit in Tokyo on July 23."
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