Japan Declares 3rd State of Emergency for Tokyo ahead of Olympic Games

The Japanese central government has declared a third state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing new restrictions to Tokyo and the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo.

The new restrictions come just 3 months ahead of Tokyo’s hosting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which begin on July 23. The current declaration will last for 17 days through May 11 as the country attempts to slow infections during the upcoming Golden Week holidays of late April and early May.

While a lot can change in the three months between now and the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, the timing of the new declaration is significant for many reasons. For one, Tokyo is scheduled to host the final Olympic qualifying event for diving from May 1-6. Some countries, including Australia, have already announced that they are withdrawing.

The other significant upcoming event is the decision on how many spectators to allow into Olympic venues. While the organizers have already said that foreign spectators won’t be allowed, a decision on domestic attendance is now on the table. Originally, a decision was promised by the end of April, but the latest comments from Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, says that decision may be postponed until as late as June.

Japan has had a total of 562,141 confirmed cases of coronavirus leading to 9,913 deaths throughout the pandemic, according to data compiled by worldometers, relatively-low figures for the country’s population of almost 130 million

Recent spikes have the country averaging around 4,500 new daily infections, the country’s highest levels of infection since a January wave. Health officials have attributed new variants for the rapid rise in new cases.

The new measures are not as restrictive as the country has used in the past, stopping short of a full lockdown. The new rules impose limits on restaurants and other businesses. Places that sell alcohol or offer karaoke will be subjected to the strictest measures, being closed completely. Other establishments will be asked to close at 8 PM.

While the government says that there are fines associated with the new measures, they largely rely on voluntary compliance.

The spike in cases has resulted in a reroute of much of the Olympic torch relay so far away from public roads to minimize gathering crowds.

68
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
68 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Breaking Bad News
4 months ago

Having enough medical support staff for the Olympics & Paralympics is a key issue that is not being discussed enough.

Meeeee
Reply to  Breaking Bad News
4 months ago

Hoping they consider canceling or postponing the para games. They are often a vulnerable population dealing many health issues so no need to place them at a higher risk. The alternative would be to allow only those 18 and older and this able to legally make their own decision to attend or not

Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

I live in Tokyo. There are zero enforcement measures here. Trains and shopping are packed. Have been the entire past year. There is zero crowd control at the most dangerous, crowded places. It will not get better here until vaccines are widespread. I’ve heard nothing about them here. We will get those later I fear (for broad populations).

Japan will posture safety to the outside world, including cancelling the Olympics. It would be a true deception because everything here is unsafe, crowds wise. Everybody wearing masks fails when there is no social distancing country wide. Go to work, shop, obey = Japan’s “social harmony”cannot be disturbed by social distance.

Doconc
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

If it’s so unsafe, why only 4500 cases a day?
That’s less than Michigan on a good day with a tyrant governor

Seems like Japan has it right

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  Doconc
4 months ago

They do have it right. Everyone wears masks and have from day 1. And there’s universal healthcare. There’s no hesitation here about seeking help out of fear of paying a deductible. Deductibles don’t exist in the developed world, where “care” is applied to humans.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

Are you a Japan national ? Years ago I studied Japan under a Jesuit ( primarily to understand ww2) who certainly gave a unique perspective .

Its all harmless fun these days speculating on Japan .They are not the ppl they were & cannot even decide 3 months out .Pussies!

Last edited 4 months ago by Corn Pop
MIKE IN DALLAS
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

THANK YOU FOR SUCH AN HONEST ON-THE-GROUND ASSESSMENT!
IT IS BLEAK, I ADMIT, BUT THE CLEANSING RAYS OF JOURNALISTIC LIGHT CAN HELP — A LOT!

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
4 months ago

Sure thing. “State of emergency” is ignored in Japan. It’s empty posturing to save face. It amounts to won’t-you-please-consider-staying-home-after-8pm. Before 8pm, live normally though. Apparently viruses are only active here after 8pm… but only at restaurants, and not at 8pm with millions packed into trains. Country of contradictions. If everyone didn’t wear masks here (literally every single person), it’d be worse than America.

Greg Brance
4 months ago

The US Olympic Committee should be working to ensure every US athlete that goes to Tokyo is vaccinated.

Swimmer2
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

All adults are now eligible, they will be.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

I’d be curious whether there’d be 100% voluntary compliance. Based on armed forces data (only 22% fully vaccinated as of this week), I doubt there would be. Enforced compliance? There’d be Senate hearings with absurd posturing. Some swimmers at this point, with OTs looming, might want to roll the dice and not have any training disruptions from even mild side effects of a vaccine. Wish it weren’t the case, but you can only lead a horse to water.

Yozhik
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 months ago

What I am curious wether mess with vaccinations creates the loopholes for doping. There always would be an excuse that you were mandated to take a shot without really knowing what it is. And with so much disorder with the vaccination process there would be impossible to trace.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

It’s only a matter of time until the same technology is used to boost performance. You couldn’t trace a drug (there wouldn’t be one), it would be the end-product level.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago
Mich
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Maybe the US should actually give people incentive to get it so that doesn’t happen. Right now they’re telling them if you and everyone get vaccinated , you’re still gonna be wearing a mask, social distancing, and locked down.

It’s understandable why someone would skip the 2nd dose which usually has bad side effects for a day, when they get nothing out of it.

MICHAEL
Reply to  Mich
4 months ago

Yeah they get nothing out of it besides a 95% efficacy against COVID…

Mich
Reply to  MICHAEL
4 months ago

Which means squat when they’re still locked in their house where they can’t catch Covid in the first place.

DrSwimPhil
Reply to  Mich
4 months ago

Weren’t you in politics? You really want to take China’s word for what they did or are doing?

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  DrSwimPhil
4 months ago

Uh, yes. China doesn’t start wars and they have universal healthcare. They’re better at people. They reeducate Muslims, letting them live. Other countries kill millions of Muslims in resource grabs.

The facts
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

Don’t get me started on wars. Just look and see who has benefited from wars in the last century to understand who starts them: big military-industrial companies, the three big intelligence agencies (CIA, MI6 and mossad) and most of all the central bankers!

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  The facts
4 months ago

The irony is, military spending keeps universal healthcare away. 68,000 die every year because they lack adequate coverage (Yale study). That number is zero in the universal healthcare, developed world.

The biggest threat to American public safety is the US government. 68,000 is more than the entire American war in SE Asia… each and every year. Millions of dead Americans over decades. Trying to cure covid with f35 raptors and drones didn’t work out either.

“How yuh gonna pay for it”, said no country that has never abandoned their superior single payer, public sector scheme and switched over to America’s deathcare. It’s cheaper, that’s why no one switched to America’s.

Japan is whack on empty, face saving, “state… Read more »

Sam B
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

….

Last edited 4 months ago by Sam B
Sam B
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

“reeducate Muslims,” you mean the r-ape and torture in uyghur camps?

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  Sam B
4 months ago

Would you rather be alive and re-educated to Han Chinese? Or be killed?

Reino
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

Live free or die

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  Reino
4 months ago

Your gov. forces you to pay way too much for healthcare by offering no public sector choice, like what the entire developed world has. They do this to YOU to kill Muslims with bloated military, not re-educate them. And that kills 68,000 Americans in America, annually. That would be the “die” part of live free or die.

You live in debt and covid sir, not freedom. Your credit score, a value system based on interest, debt, and hardship, is your prison. Did you know credit score systems mostly don’t exist outside America?

China has a social credit system based on behavior to make their society better. Your debt credit system makes your society worse. America has more homeless people per… Read more »

Yozhik
Reply to  Chigasaki open water
4 months ago

My children live on west coast ( San Francisco, Seattle) for more than 10 years. And they tell me that the probability to meet Chinese speaking person on the street or in the office is steadily increases with years. I haven’t searched for any academic study in this regard but if these casual observations are credible (that really depend on the life style of my children) then why Chinese people are moving to such “terrible” place like America rather then moving all together to the promised prosperous place like mainland China.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Reino
4 months ago

You guys do not want the Silk Road being revived , but it was much Uighurs as Kazakh,Turkmeni, Uzbeki & Ottoman as Chinese who lived it & traded along .Any propaganda ok but don’t forget when you found Uigburs in Afghanistan; rendited them to GBay.

Meeeee
Reply to  Mich
4 months ago

Free donut a day at Krispy Kreme. https://www.krispykreme.com/promos/vaccineoffer

Corn Pop
Reply to  Mich
4 months ago

Last Fall , specifically Sept , Former Guy said all Americans could access a vaccine free by April . He received a barrage of vitriol but I’m glad to see you were a believer .

I was impressed & surprised by the Free ! So Unamerican .

Last edited 4 months ago by Corn Pop
Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago
Coach
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

Not all US athletes going to Tokyo will choose to get vaccinated. It’s their choice.

The facts
Reply to  Coach
4 months ago

Correct when the constitution hadn’t been shredded yet

Dawg Dad
Reply to  Coach
4 months ago

I think we are all underestimating the US athlete’s willingness to get vaccinated. I believe the vast majority of them will be vaccinated by the Olympics.

Think about it. You spend your entire life dreaming of representing the US on the Olympic stage. If you qualify for the games, you aren’t going to take a chance of getting that dream taken from you at the last moment because of a positive “travel” test days before you leave for Japan. Nor, will anyone be willing to take the chance of getting to all the way to Japan and then get removed from competition for a pre-event positive test or contact tracing due to an infected team member.

On a side… Read more »

swimapologist
Reply to  Dawg Dad
4 months ago

People aren’t “underestimating” so much as “projecting.” They *want* the athletes to think like them soas to validate their thinking.

Based on just a broad-strokes categorization (which is probably bad), I can only think of one who probably won’t get it if made available.

Something like 85% of Democrat voters have received a vaccine or say they will very soon. The number is much lower, something like 30%, for Republicans (in spite of the fact that their lord and savior Donald Trump got vaccinated). You can see via social media which way the vast majority of athletes lean…

Last edited 4 months ago by swimapologist
Togger
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

Is that possible? Some of the trials are pretty close to the games, even if athletes were jabbed as soon as they qualified they’d probably be in Japan before the second dose is scheduled.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Togger
4 months ago

It’s best for the individuals to take the initiative on their own before the 2021 Olympic Team Trials: Walgreens Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy, Kroger Pharmacy, Sam’s Club ……….

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

Six feet apart or six feet under ……

The facts
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Ok drama queen. At the athlete’s age group survival rate is 99.9%.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  The facts
4 months ago
DrSwimPhil
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Besides the part where %’s don’t work that way, the 6ft thing is being questioned as well: MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study (cnbc.com)

Ghost
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

That won’t be an issue unless Ron Johnson’s grandkids make the team!

PKDDS
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

ITs not so much worry about the US athletes,its athletes from other nations and how to protect the bubble inside the village.

‘Merica
Reply to  Greg Brance
4 months ago

that’s great if Americans make it a priority to get Olympians vaccinated. What about all of the other countries that aren’t nearly as fortunate?

Khachaturian
4 months ago

That statue in the background of the photo scares me

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Khachaturian
4 months ago
Coachy
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

By “younger” they mean a 37, 41 and 55 year olds. I think these Olympians will be ok.

Meeeee
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Of Course they r younger. Older have had it or are vaccinated.younger less vaccinated

Yozhik
4 months ago

Japan has 4456 covid cases and 79 covid related deaths perr 1Mpop.
That is 20 times less than in the United States, where no emergency state is declared. Someone of these two (how to put it appropriately in English) is stupid.
On the other hand whatever Japan has is 20 times higher than in China. So both these countries (US, JPN) are extremely careless and incapable of keeping the problem under control. So let’s move Olympic Games to China. Permanently!!!

leisurely1:29
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

I always love your takes, Yohzik. Never agree with them, but still love them.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  leisurely1:29
4 months ago

How about the poster in question moves to China without any internet access? In addition, make sure the doors and windows are nailed shut for the sake of humanity.

Chigasaki open water
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Better than covid, VPN / proxy. How’d your for profit healthcare hold up for covid though? It proved America is really just a third world country with a fake Gucci belt.

Meeeee
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

Lol!

Breaking Bad News
4 months ago
Gator
4 months ago

Haters keep hating….

Yozhik
4 months ago

While other my post is awaiting swimswam’s approval there is another one of the same kind. 😀 is it possible that Japan is bargaining with IOC demanding more money as insurance to cover the consequences of possible increase of COVID cases.

Last edited 4 months ago by Yozhik
Corn Pop
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

I am certain they are but in the end its Japan’s tradition of last minute decisiveness that will suffer. All the old guys have been moved out so we have women & soy men running the show.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

Poppycock!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »