Tokyo Sees Record Coronavirus Cases 1 Year Out from Rescheduled Olympics

The metropolitan government of Tokyo, Japan reported a record of 472 new cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday, which marks 3 consecutive days of new high counts for the cases.

In total, this brings Tokyo’s case count to 13,163 among a population of almost 14 million in the world’s biggest metropolis. While those numbers still pale in comparison to some other large cities, notably New York City which has seen 230,000 confirmed cases in a population of less than 9 million, the auspicious timing of the rise comes as the IOC approaches meetings to decide the future of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Meetings with the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are scheduled to begin in September as part of an effort to rebuild domestic support for hosting the games. Those efforts will fight the results of recent surveys that saw less than 24% of citizens were in favor of holding the Olympics and Paralympics, with a third of those surveyed saying that they thought the Games should be canceled altogether.

The IOC continues to say they’re doing everything they can to ensure that the Games happen with spectators.

The country as a whole has seen its cases climb this week. Through the middle of June, Japan was recording less than 60 new case per day. On Saturday, the country, like the city of Tokyo, recorded a new record high of 1,464 daily positive tests.

According to, Japan still ranks just 155th globally in positive tests/capita, better than most large and densely-populated nations. Japan also has a very low testing rate compared to most developed nations.

Tokyo is scheduled to host an athletics (track & field) event at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium beginning August 23. That field will include only Japanese athletes and a few foreign athletes who compete for Japanese professional clubs.

The last week marked the original dates that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were scheduled to begin. The Games are now set to begin on July 23, 2021 and run through August 8, 2021. The swimming competition is scheduled to begin on July 24.

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The only thing left to do now is another national shutdown until the vaccine is out. Bob Bowman and Raegan Smith are going to look very intelligent in the next few days.


That, i think, would be disastrous. Teen suicides are on the rise. Bread lines expanding. Horrible effects of social isolation and physical inactivity. Economic crisis that will make things worse for all. We need to be much smarter than that. Wear your mask, keep your fingers off your face, keep your distance, isolate self when exposed or sick. We should not shut down!


You must be a Trump Supporter.


No, I don’t think this argument is consistent with the Trump fantasy of disease disappearance. Meeeeeee is arguing for appropriate distancing behavior and brings up the legitimate problems of a shut down. It should atleast be up for open minded debate. And I am as far form a trump supporter as you can get.


You must live in the enchanted forest with no means of communication and zero common sense. Meeee comment was not a political statement (until you vomited) it was simply common sense.

Mean Dean

But what is the real possibility that you can get the majority of the public to wear a mask and social distance? I live in a rather conservative state and nearly no one wears a mask. Even in the grocery store where it’s “required”, a huge portion of the population refused. Sure that’s very anecdotal, but it’s not unbelievable that much of the country is experiencing the same reality.

Opening the country is going to cause huge spikes of cases due to the ignorance of the people in it.


Great observation. What is the chance that masks Or social distancing are very effective if aerosols are the primary spread of the virus? The only thing that would truly work is a “Wuhan style” lockdown which is just impossible in western democracies.


Legitimate questions. In my area through mid June my observation at local stores was about 35-50% mask use. By late July it is now 95-98%. People here have gotten on board lately which gives me hope. I live in the southwest which has experienced a big increase in cases over that time and lent motivation. As a coach that feels we have done a great job of creating and following a procedure for safe practice(and it is a job that demands constant vigilance)I cannot advocate for widespread closure of society but I can say that people have to be willing to do the difficult, inconvenient work required to stay open safely.

Corn Pop

What state is that?


Just to put this in perspective, but you are in a comments section of a story that is about a county in which there’s virtually 100% mask wearing going on and has been going on for a while now….

Your last line…we’ve only seen very small localized flair-ups in places already hit hard, regardless of mitigation (nationally and internationally). And that doesn’t factor in already seeing a lot of decline in states that, for the most part, are pretty much open (with small exceptions, bars being the major one).


This article is about Japan. Japan has a extraordinarily high compliance factor with masks. Prior to Covid, many Japanese wore masks to cope with pollution. I’ve read the percentage of people who wear masks in Japan exceeds 90%, and yet they’re seeing their numbers rise. Hmmm.


It’s not pollution in Japan as much as it is common courtesy to wear a mask when you’re sick. People wear masks for pollution in Tokyo, and maybe even the Kansai region, but pollution is not as big of a problem in other parts of the country, In Japan, if you are sick, you wear a mask so that you don’t get other people sick; it’s common courtesy and falls in line with Japanese culture which emphasizes the population as a whole, not just individuals.


I hear you on pollution, but you’re reinforcing the larger point that wearing masks was a social norm in Japan long before the arrival of Covid. Despite a high level of mask compliance, Japan is now seeing a sharp spike in cases – the 7 day moving average of cases has nearly doubled since the initial spike in April and cases have quadrupled in Tokyo in the last month. I don’t place a lot of stock in case counts, but Japan has done such a ridiculously low amount of testing relative to other developed nations, one has to wonder if the recorded cases are just a tiny fraction of what’s out there. Hopefully this trend reverses, but it does make… Read more »


People didn’t wear masks for pollution in Japan. Japan has one of the cleanest airs in the world. And no, the percentage of people who wore masks before covid 19 is nowhere near 90%. Unless you are refering to compliance with covid 19 orders to wear masks. But the Japanese government gave no orders to their people to wear masks. Their stance was to give people the freedom to wear a mask if they wanted. But the Japanese people being the courteous people that they are, wore a mask anyway without a government mandate to avoid spreading covid 19. Even before covid 19, In japan, people wore masks when they were sick with a flu to avoid spreading disease to… Read more »


Wow…totally missed the point there Carlo. Sorry for the pollution comment – let’s just go ahead and give it a “half-truth” rating or forget that part altogether. Whether it’s pollution in Tokyo, allergies, preventing the spread of illness, or they just plain like hiding behind the anonymity of wearing masks, I think it’s universally understood that wearing masks in Japan was a socially accepted norm well prior to Covid’s arrival. I didn’t suggest that 90% of the Japanese population wore masks prior to Covid. I did say that I’ve read studies saying Japan NOW has a compliance factor north of 90% during the Covid pandemic. Despite that high compliance rate, Japan is seeing a significant spike in cases far exceeding… Read more »


wearing mask and COVID-19 are not mutually exclusive event. Wearing mask help protects the wearer’s nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes and sprays that may contain germs.

There are different types of mask and level of protection and commonly available masks are not 100% against any virus which includes COVID-19. The narrative of wearing mask seems to become an all-or-nothing argument, which cannot be more far from the truth. Wearing mask is one of the many actions that we can do to help slow the spread of the virus, but definitely not the only foolproof method.


Most of the places that are successful in curbing the virus spreading involve citizens effort in doing the precautionary actions themselves – washing hand, frequent cleaning of share use surfaces, social distancing and face mask.

We look before we cross the road, even at legal crossings. Rules or not, we need to look out for ourselves and do our best to avoid catching this virus. No rules can protect anyone from virus.


.. and stop going to the bars & having large gatherings!


Or, Congress could take the tens of billions of dollars they put towards new military equipment every year and pay people to stay home. A lock down does not have to mean economic depression. The U.S has all the recourses to handle this pandemic, the politicians are choosing not to use them. Imagine if instead of Trump putting $500 million in to the stock market at the beginning of the pandemic in order to trick it into staying strong (the market subsequently crashed anyways) we used that money for a federal bailout of bars, restaurants, & gyms (all covid hotspots) so they could afford to stay closed and workers wouldn’t be forced back to work


Your rhetoric is based on fear, you sit on a throne of lies.


Where is all the make believe money going to come from. Shut down are you kidding me


The virus will run it’s course everywhere. The idea that a government can stop the spread of a virus (particularly in Western democracies, please see the huge protests in Berlin yesterday) is a fairy tale. The good news is that we are well on target for this thing to burn out in the states quite soon (it already has essentially burned out in much of the northeast and hospitalizations have dropped significantly in the sun belt). Let’s hope our politicians come to the realization sooner rather than later that herd immunity is coming whether they like it or not.


We will have the best numbers soon, in spite of the the fact we have 3x the number of daily cases as compared to 2 months ago.




Casedemic example:
Four weeks and 300,000 Covid positive tests later, Florida has more hospital beds available than it did on July 5.

Corn Pop

The debt numbers. In 11 years from the Tea Party , the trillions have tripled also. I read 2021 has a high % of debt,/ obligations to pay out. USA has a storm coming but it is certainly not 3.5 years in the making, more like 35.

Might be , there are no good choices no matter who is in DC ,


Again you with “herd immunity.” What makes you a world expert in coronaviruses? Misleading young people here. No expert knows right now if herd immunity is possible. It isn’t with any of other 4 coronaviruses as your immunity disappears after months. Lots of indications that might be the case with this virus too. There most likely will not be herd immunity without vaccine. Until that is available, multiply number of days by say 1000 dead/day (yesterday was 1300) and that will be the cost of opening bars and indoor getterings again. Another 150,000 dead until Christmas? Yeah, that is your good news?




This situation is a lose lose psychodad. I would hope most people could recognize that.

Our society can’t wait for a vaccine that may not even be effective.

I will give you some good news. Sweden hasn’t recorded a death in 4 days (and as much as you hate their approach they had 1/3 the deaths of NY/NJ). A mounting case that herd immunity works.


Swedes did a lot of things many Americans refuse to do, like wear masks. Our problem isn’t democracy, it’s the entire narrative that part of our federal (and some state) governments have created in order to shuffle the blame for the nation’s terrible response to the virus away from the guy in the White House. The virus required a coordinated national response and a president who fostered a “we’re all in this together” message and attitude. Thank God this type of divisive leadership wasn’t around during World War II.


Swedes simply don’t wear masks. There is no national mandate. The Philippines on the other hand has huge national compliance on masks. They are unfortunately spiking in cases now.


Have you ever met anyone from Sweden? As a society, they don’t have many similarities to Americans. They are extremely understanding of this pandemic and the implications it has on its citizens, therefore respecting science and following basic principles to reduce spreading of the virus. They flourish because they care about each other, not just themselves. They literally don’t want to see their neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family die and will sacrifice where necessary. Don’t compare Sweden to America.


Not sure who that was directed at. I didn’t compare the two. Merely applauded their approach and refuted that they wear masks.


No expert? This lady seems to have a proper background, provided peer-reviewed information, and seems to know what she’s talking about:

Corn Pop

We all gonna die unless we are RBG or DC .


Don’t forget Keith Richards


this quote from the Mayo clinic really makes me fearful of herd immunity as it may be disastrous considering we don’t know the long-term effects of the disease and people have been shown to reacquire the virus. “However, there are some major problems with relying on community infection to create herd immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. First, it isn’t yet clear if infection with the COVID-19 virus makes a person immune to future infection. Research suggests that after infection with some coronaviruses, reinfection with the same virus — though usually mild and only happening in a fraction of people — is possible after a period of months or years. Further research is needed to determine the protective effect… Read more »


If reinfection was happening, what would be the purpose of a vaccine? We would vaccinate once a month? Honest question.


It’s a good question and beyond my swim coaching background but I imagine worst-case it would be similar to a seasonal flu shot. It would also depend on the vaccine and it’s effectiveness and side-effects as well.

my original point is that herd immunity is a gamble without more research on the Covid virus.


Pretty sure vaccines work differently ( to herd immunity ) so you don’t have to keep getting vaccinated . Heard an epidemiologist on the radio.


some do and some don’t require booster shots. every disease is unique. you cant paint everything with one brush


And infection causes long term health effects, especially cardiac and respiratory, even in the young and healthy, So unless you want 100 million Americans going through cycles of sickness, and acquiring long term debilitating illness better aim for elimination.


“better aim for elimination”

You realize that’s virtually impossible, right?

I know it’s been lost in the messaging, but every virus has brought along certain long-term health effects with a % of its infected hosts.


That 70% was an educated guess back in early-April. There’s a ton of studies coming out now showing that it could be as low as 20-25%, and that “immunity” can last for years (look up all of the T-cell studies).


Western democracies can absolutely handle the covid crisis when they’re run by competent leaders.


They can handle the crisis. They just don’t want their doors welded shut or to be locked down. They want to be treated like adults.


>They just don’t want their doors welded shut or to be locked down. If you are happy with your life, you would not mind being locked down for a few months. You have a future and you look forward to enjoying it. In USA, half of population lives miserable unhappyy lives and they are AFRAID.ALL.THE.TIME even without virus. Afraid for jobs, about their children not coming back from school, afraid of losing health insurance, afraid of losing their house. By giving a big middle finger to the government/society is their way of saying: “at least I can control this,” which off course is a big lie. In other countries, they enjoy good social programs, free education, and they are much… Read more »

Justin Thompson

Fauci gave our POTUS high marks, hope yours earns the same


Reported US coronavirus deaths:

Mar. 1: 2 deaths
Apr. 1: 4,780 deaths
May 1: 64,943 deaths
Jun. 1: 105,165 deaths
July 1: 128,062 deaths
Aug. 1: 154,360 deaths

Anthony Preda

Do any of the commenters realize that the content of the article pertains to Tokyo which is outside the borders of the United States, that the Olympics are an international event, and Covid-19 is a global pandemic?


Yes. I made my comment to illustrate what is happening in the US based on the original commenters post. The Olympics is a global games so would be affected by each countries health. By the way, Olympians are about the last person who have to worry about Covid.

4% of the COVID death count in the UK listed COVID as the lone cause, 5% in Italy, 6% in the US. Median COVID death in OECD countries is in the mid-80s. I Don’t think this has as much to do with obesity/asthma/etc as it has to do with the numerous morbidities that accompanies someone at the end of life.


“Olympians are about the last person who have to worry about Covid”

you are delusional…


A fit young professional rugby player in Sydney had to end is career yesterday- after COVID scarred his heart and he couldnt train any longer…..This disease can severely affect anyone.


HISWIMCOACH, If by Olympians you mean rowers who have competed in the Olympics, I think these rowers would disagree…
And if you think Covid is “burned out” in the NE, it’s because we opened extremely slowly, haven’t opened indoor dining beyond 50% (or at all in some places), and most people wear masks. And in spite of that, our numbers are now going up, though not to the degree they are in the S, SW, and W.


That’s….not the burnout theory at all. Eventually we’re going to look back and recognize that we humans cannot control the virus. We can somewhat control WHO gets it (hence protecting the at-risk populations), but we’re not going to control its proliferation. Look at Japan, Peru, Sweden, NYC, etc etc…so many widely varying mitigation strategies…so many similar total % infected numbers.


I have to disagree here. NZ, Vietnam & Australia have 236 deaths combined throughout this entire pandemic. Hong Kong & Singapore fewer than 50 deaths. What do they all have in common? Robust action taken early. I read about Kiwis returning to NZ being held for 28 days if they refuse a test, and fined thousands if they break isolation rules. Vietnam has just began testing the entire population of its third largest city, and imposed restrictions like quarantining entires flights if a passenger has covid symptoms when tested upon arriving in Vietnam. What we need to to is limit the virus’ ability to spread until we have a vaccine, and multiple nations have shown us that is possible. Actually… Read more »


You do realize the fastest a vaccine has ever been brought to market was 4 years? That’s a long time to stay locked down.


I do, but we do not need a lockdown, we need stringent and well enforced restrictions that the public buy in to. Take Seoul in South Korea; It has a larger population than NYC, it was never “locked down”, and it has had only 9 deaths. How? They launched a similar epidemic control programme as Vietnam (6 deaths), their population was quickly screened en-masse and anybody who tested positive was isolated in quarantine along with all those they had been in contact with recently. Entire cities were not quarantined, life went on fairly normally (people went to work, and shops were open etc). Lockdown was not the only option. On the vaccine, you’re right, but my understanding from reading lancet… Read more »


You know what they also have in common? An increase in infections now as they start re-opening. The virus will find a way. The USA cannot have a full-scale lockdown. That’s just not practical for a billion different reasons.


ahh yes, American exceptionalism

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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, …

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