THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 26, 2020 at 16:20 JST
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks in a pre-recorded video presented for the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25. (Provided by the Foreign Ministry)
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s new prime minister said Saturday that he’s determined to host the Tokyo Olympic Games next summer as “proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic.”
The 2020 Games were postponed as the coronavirus spread worldwide, and there’s been widespread doubt about their future.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a prerecorded speech at the U.N. General Assembly that he will “spare no effort in order to welcome you to Games that are safe and secure.”
Surveys have shown that a majority of Japanese companies and the public don’t think the Olympics will, or should, happen next year. A poll published in June by Japanese broadcaster NHK said two-thirds of sponsors were undecided about extending for another year.
Keeping domestic sponsors on board is financially critical, and Japanese leaders have been eager to signal the Games' viability next year.
Recruited by Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Inc., domestic sponsors have paid a record $3.3 billion — at least twice any previous Olympics — to the local organizing committee. That's on top of a dozen permanent Olympic sponsors who have signed long term with the International Olympic Committee. Some also have individual contracts with Tokyo organizers.
Japanese organizers are saying little, however, about how 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, staff and officials will be safe with no vaccine or treatment for the virus yet available.
The Asahi Shimbun aims “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” through its Gender Equality Declaration.
Let’s explore the Japanese capital from the viewpoint of wheelchair users and people with disabilities with Barry Joshua Grisdale.
This special page portrays the dramatic arrest of Carlos Ghosn and the twists and turns that followed.
This special page reviews what the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman left during his 19 years in Japan.
Baseball star Ichiro Suzuki had much to say on March 21, 2019, the day he hung up his spikes.
This special page details how journalists uncovered shady transactions through Bermuda and other tax havens.