A recent report published by the Nomura Research Institute noted that canceling the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games would result in the country of Japan losing approximately $16 billion.
The research was led by Takahide Kiuchi, the top economist at the institute. According to Kiuchi, the country already lost about 6.4 trillion yen during the first lockdown last spring.
“If the (Olympic Games) trigger the spread of infections and necessitates another emergency declaration, then the economic loss would be much greater,” Kiuchi told news outlet Reuters.
“These calculations suggest that the decision of whether to hold or cancel the Games should be made from the perspective of infection risk rather than economic loss.”
The country of Japan is currently under another state-mandated lockdown amongst rising Coronavirus cases. During the original lockdown in 2020, the country’s economy suffered a 4.8% loss for the year. According to the Japan Times, economists have estimated that the most recent lockdown may cost the country an additional $9.2 billion.
When originally granted the rights to host the 2020 Olympic Games, Japan’s government estimated that it would cost about $13 billion. However, due to the pandemic, the cost of hosting the games has nearly doubled, as it is estimated to cost more than $26 billion.
In recent weeks, there have been rising concerns about the Games amid rising coronavirus case numbers in Japan, as the country has re-entered a state of emergency. On May 26, Japanese newspaper and official Olympic sponsor, the Asahi Shimbun published an editorial urging Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to either cancel or delay the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, the International Olympic Committee has repeatedly reassured the public that the Games will continue as planned.
On May 27, Japan reported 4,300 new COVID-19 cases, with a 7 day average of 4,200 cases per day according to the World Health Organization. Cases in the country hit their all-time high on May 13, 2021, with nearly 7,500 cases reported. In addition, Japan has only vaccinated approximately 5.3% of its population of 126.3 million people.