Nairobi News

General

Japan hosting Olympics is a ‘suicide mission’

A corporate boss in Japan has likened the decision by the country to host the Olympics in July and August of 2022 to a ‘suicide mission’ considering the situation with the coronavirus pandemic around the world.

Rakuten (RKUNF) Chief Executive Hiroshi Mikitani, in an exclusive interview with CNN Business, also revealed he’s tried to convince the authorities to cancel the Tokyo games for the second year running.

He also gave the Japanese government a score of “two out of 10” for its handling of the pandemic.

Other prominent Japanese executives have voiced their worries over this year’s Olympics, but none has been as critical as Mikitani.

“It’s dangerous to host the big international event from all over the world. So, the risk is too big,” Mikitani told CNN Business.

“The upside is not that great, and we see many countries are still struggling so much, including India and Brazil. And it’s not time to celebrate yet,” he added.

When asked if he believed the Olympics could yet be canceled, he said “everything is possible right now,” and that he thought it would be “difficult” to make the games safe.

With Covid-19 cases rising, hundreds of thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for the Olympics to be canceled, and this week Japan’s top executives have also voiced their concerns.

The Olympics Games, considered the world’s premier sports event, were scheduled for last year but postponed when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Kenya, one of Africa’s sporting powerhouses, is preparing to send a strong team of athletes to the Olympic Games, with bubble training already taking place.

The contingents include the women volleyball team, men and women rugby sevens team, and athletes mainly drawn from the middle and long-distance races.

Japan has so far registered about 700,000 cases, and 11,000 deaths.