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Olympics newest: Japanese official’s loss of life investigated as suicide

TOKYO — The July 23 opening ceremony of the delayed Tokyo Olympics is drawing nearer, however there’s nonetheless a lot to be determined earlier than the world’s greatest sporting occasion can go forward.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee is insistent that the Video games happen as deliberate, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says authorities will do their utmost to make sure a “secure and safe” occasion. However Tokyo continues to be beneath a state of emergency, polls present the Japanese public are broadly against holding them this 12 months, and COVID-19 circumstances are rising once more in international locations throughout Asia and elsewhere.

Listed below are the newest developments on this fast-evolving story:

Monday, June 7 (Tokyo time)

6:45 p.m. Nikkei confirms earlier reviews {that a} Japan Olympic Committee official’s loss of life at a Tokyo subway station this morning is being investigated as a suicide. Sources say that the 52-year-old accounting supervisor was witnessed leaping from a platform, however that no suicide word was present in his belongings.

5:30 p.m. Tokyo’s neighboring Saitama Prefecture, simply to the northwest, has canceled public Olympic-viewing occasions at two places over coronavirus issues. Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono pronounces the choice and expresses remorse that followers won’t be able to share the joy of the video games.

This follows an earlier resolution by Tokyo to scrap plans for related viewings within the capital’s Yoyogi Park.

2:30 p.m. A Japan Olympic Committee employees member has died in an obvious suicide in Tokyo’s subway, in response to a report by native broadcaster Nippon Tv. The person was 52 and labored as an accounting supervisor. His loss of life stays beneath investigation.

10:00 a.m. A brand new ballot suggests a shift in Japanese public sentiment towards the Olympics, with 50% now saying they’d maintain the video games this summer season, although opposition and issues about coronavirus measures stay robust.

A survey by Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper discovered 24% of respondents would maintain the video games with restricted spectators whereas 26% would go forward with out audiences. In the meantime, 48% stated they’d cancel, down from 59% in early Might. However 63% nonetheless felt COVID-19 precautions on athletes and officers coming from abroad had been inadequate.

Sunday, June 6

9:30 p.m. Japanese sprinter Ryota Yamagata units a brand new nationwide 100-meter file, Kyodo Information reviews. His time in a race in western Japan, 9.95 seconds, beats the nation’s earlier file by 0.02. Yamagata gained a silver medal on the 2016 Olympics with Japan’s 4×100-meter relay group, and turns into solely the fourth Japanese runner to complete a 100-meter race in beneath 10 seconds.

Saturday, June 5

6:00 p.m. The Tokyo 2020 organizers are denying a report that some company sponsors have proposed delaying the video games, saying there was “no such request,” in response to Kyodo Information.

The Monetary Instances on Friday reported that some sponsors had recommended pushing aside the occasion till later this 12 months, when extra followers may be capable to attend.

5:15 p.m. Australia’s Olympic softball group — the primary group of athletes to reach in Japan for the Tokyo Video games — has began its coaching camp, Kyodo Information reviews.

The group’s observe in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, was closed to followers and reporters to reduce the COVID-19 threat. The group has been vaccinated and will probably be examined repeatedly as a precaution, the information company says.

Friday, June 4

11:45 p.m. Main Japanese sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics have known as privately for the video games to be delayed for a number of months extra in order that extra followers can attend, the Monetary Instances reviews, quoting two individuals as saying postponement would enable them to get better some worth if it allowed spectators and larger motion round venues. Learn extra right here.

7:20 p.m. The U.Okay.’s Olympic contingent will embody psychological well being professionals, Reuters reviews, citing The Instances newspaper.

The report says 10 psychological well being consultants will come alongside and monitor the group’s well-being beneath a sports activities psychologist and a health care provider.

“We already took psychological well being very significantly however we acknowledge such points have by no means been extra acute in on a regular basis life,” The Instances quotes the British Olympic Affiliation as saying.

The plan involves mild the identical week Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, saying she suffered from despair and struggled with compulsory press conferences. Her resolution raised world consciousness of the psychological and emotional pressure on athletes.

The British Olympic group on the Tokyo Video games will embody a squad of psychological well being professionals to look at over the athletes.

  © Reuters

6:00 p.m. Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto brushes off criticism of the video games, saying organizers have a “mission” to arrange. Whereas a Japanese Olympic Committee board member earlier immediately wrote that the occasion had misplaced its which means, Hashimoto suggests the worldwide disaster provides “worth and which means to the video games.”

She does say that if different organizers decide that going ahead is troublesome, “then it is usually our mission to reply to such judgments.”

The feedback come a day after Hashimoto stated that “we can’t postpone once more.”

4:20 p.m. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi intends to “join” with the nation’s athletes via a web-based convention in July, in response to native media. Modi was reportedly briefed this week on measures being taken to ship the group to Tokyo safely amid the pandemic.

1:30 p.m. With distinguished voices making crucial remarks in regards to the video games on Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reiterates his intention to go ahead. “By realizing a secure and safe video games, we are able to ship hope and braveness to the world,” he says, in response to Kyodo Information.

12:35 p.m. Shigeru Omi, head of the Japanese authorities’s coronavirus advisory panel, says holding the video games beneath a state of emergency “should positively be prevented.”

Tokyo and a number of other different municipalities are presently beneath a COVID-19 emergency declaration that was prolonged to June 20. IOC Vice President John Coates brought on a stir final month by saying the video games can nonetheless be held even when the emergency stays in place.

However Omi will not be having it. “We should always ramp up our effort to keep away from [keeping] the state of emergency in the course of the time left” earlier than opening day, he tells media.

11:25 a.m. Throughout Japan, 479 municipalities are nonetheless planning to host coaching camps and post-games interplay applications, Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa tells reporters. Because of the pandemic, 122 municipalities have determined to cancel these applications as of Friday.

10:15 a.m. Kaori Yamaguchi, a Japanese Olympic Committee government board member and former judoka, says the Tokyo Olympics “have already misplaced which means and are being held only for the sake of them,” however that she believes it’s too late to cancel.

In an opinion article printed by Kyodo Information this morning, she writes that canceling with solely 49 days to go would “require an excessive amount of power to make and observe via with such a call.” With public opinion strongly in opposition to the video games however the Worldwide Olympic Committee decided to go forward, she argues Japan has been “cornered” and is “damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.”

“‘The facility of sports activities’ is of little consolation to individuals anxious in regards to the medical state of affairs and their future lives,” she says.

Yamaguchi warns that even when the video games succeed at rousing feelings, they may depart a “bitter aftertaste.” However she expresses hope that “athletes will use this expertise to develop into individuals who can converse out and debate.”

7:00 a.m. Japan’s authorities intends to cancel a reception for abroad dignitaries deliberate for Aug. 8, the day of the Olympic closing ceremony, Kyodo Information reviews in a single day. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was on account of host the occasion at a Tokyo resort with officers from the Worldwide Olympic Committee, however will probably be scrapped over coronavirus issues and as a part of efforts to scale down the video games, the information company says, citing nameless sources.

3:10 a.m. Kenya’s Olympic committee plans to go forward with pre-training camp in Kurume, the Japanese metropolis that earlier this week had communicated its withdrawal from the host settlement, Reuters reviews.

“As of immediately, the knowledge we’ve as of now could be that we’re on,” says Francis Mutuku, appearing secretary-general of the Nationwide Olympic Committee of Kenya, in a phone interview.

The Japanese Embassy in Kenya says that information of the cancellation was “erroneously reported” and that Kurume’s mayor confirms that town will proceed with preparations to obtain the Kenyan athletes, paying particular consideration to COVID-19 protocols.

2:50 a.m. The Worldwide Olympic Committee has introduced a brand new tackle collectible Olympic pins: a line of digital memorabilia within the type of nonfungible tokens.

The digital pins will probably be out there for buy beginning midmonth — or to be “earned” beginning later this 12 months by enjoying an Olympic-themed online game.

NFTs use blockchain know-how to create one-of-a-kind digital belongings. Such tokens are getting used within the artwork world.

The trouble sees the IOC partnering with San Francisco sport developer nWay, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Animoca Manufacturers, which claimed unicorn standing after a latest funding spherical.

Thursday, June 3

7:00 p.m. Organizers reveal gadgets for use throughout medal ceremonies, together with an official podium made out of recycled plastic, Kyodo Information reviews — the newest signal of officers’ willpower to forge forward with 50 days to go.

The disclosing occasion at Ariake Area, an Olympic venue on Tokyo’s waterfront, consists of fashions sporting uniforms made out of recycled fibers and carrying trays for the medals.

“For athletes standing on the rostrum and for others watching them, I consider [the ceremonies] will enable us to comprehend the worth of holding the video games throughout this time,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto is quoted as saying.

Medalists will stand on podiums just like the one above, made out of recycled plastic.

  © Reuters

The medals will probably be introduced on trays like this.

  © Reuters

6:05 p.m. The top of the Japanese Olympic Committee expects round 95% of the nation’s Olympians will probably be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, in response to Kyodo Information.

The JOC goals to inoculate about 1,600 athletes, coaches and employees with two doses earlier than the video games start. Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, who acquired a shot on Thursday, says the take-up charge has been higher than anticipated because the program began on Tuesday, due to sports activities organizations emphasizing that getting jabbed is “not solely to guard ourselves but in addition to not trigger bother to others.”

He acknowledges public opposition to the video games and the necessity to guarantee security, however says athletes shouldn’t really feel responsible for getting ready.

3:05 p.m. A overseas athlete checks constructive for COVID-19 whereas in Japan, however not one headed for the Olympics. The Japan Soccer Affiliation says a member of Ghana’s under-24 nationwide group had a constructive take a look at on Thursday, simply two days earlier than he was set to play in opposition to Japan in southwestern Fukuoka Prefecture. Though the contaminated athlete has been quarantined and his teammates have examined damaging, officers haven’t determined whether or not to proceed with the Saturday match.

11:10 a.m. The president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has insisted the video games should go forward as deliberate, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can’t postpone once more,” Reuters quotes Seiko Hashimoto as saying, citing an interview with Japan’s Nikkan Sports activities newspaper.

The previous Olympian turned politician additionally rejected the opportunity of canceling the video games.

Lo Kuo-Hui of Chinese language Taipei readies himself within the outfield on the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — the final time baseball was included on the video games. 

  © Getty Photographs

7:54 a.m. Taiwan’s baseball affiliation tweets that it’s withdrawing from the ultimate Olympic baseball qualifier in Mexico later this month — an occasion the island was on account of host itself earlier than tighter COVID-19 border guidelines prompted a venue change.

The choice comes with 50 days to go earlier than the video games open in Tokyo.

“In the long run, the mountain was too massive to maneuver,” says the Chinese language Taipei Baseball Affiliation — the identify beneath which Taiwan competes. The tweet doesn’t go into element however consists of charts on Taiwan’s coronavirus state of affairs.

Baseball is one in every of Taiwan’s hottest sports activities. However Japanese public broadcaster NHK says the island’s skilled league determined in opposition to sending its gamers to Mexico over well being issues. The affiliation then thought of sending an novice squad, however Taiwan’s latest COVID-19 surge difficult the planning.

6:00 a.m. Waiting for the Winter Olympics in Beijing subsequent 12 months, American gold medalist pace skater Apolo Ohno says the U.S. ought to compete moderately than politicize the occasion with a boycott.

“I consider that America as a group ought to go and characterize the very best that we are able to,” Ohno tells Fox Enterprise. “We attempt to win in each single circumstance and state of affairs.”

He says the U.S. group ought to concentrate on the “purity of sport” in Beijing.

Wednesday, June 2

9:36 p.m. The Japanese metropolis of Kurume has pulled out of internet hosting Kenya’s pre-Olympics coaching camp as native COVID-19 infections unfold quickly, Kenya’s Olympic committee says. Amenities for coaching camps have change into vaccination venues, the Kenyan assertion quotes Kurume authorities as saying, although Japan has supplied no quick affirmation.

Lots of Kenya’s athletes had been to reach July 7 within the metropolis on the southern island of Kyushu, however the committee says “different preparations” are being made. Greater than 100 Japanese municipalities have scrapped plans to host groups from overseas.

7:30 p.m. Round 10,000 volunteers who had signed as much as assist out on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Video games have give up as of June 1, Japan’s broadcaster NHK reviews, citing Tokyo organizers. Round 80,000 volunteers have been recruited. Those that had withdrawn did so with causes akin to issues over the pandemic and private points, amongst others.

Tokyo Olympics organizing committee chief Toshiro Muto later confirmed that about 10,000 volunteers had withdrawn from the occasion.

6:30 p.m. Kyodo Information reviews, citing sources, that the G-7 will categorical help for the Tokyo Olympics in an announcement after a summit within the U.Okay. this month.

4:21 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan authorities formally pronounces it should scrap a plan to carry public viewing of the Olympics within the metropolis’s Yoyogi Park. As an alternative, police and firefighters will probably be vaccinated within the park from subsequent month.

A person poses for a portrait as he takes canine for a stroll at Yoyogi park in Tokyo on Might 2.

  © Reuters

3:59 p.m. A member of the Australian girls’s softball group’s teaching employees praises Japan’s dealing with of Olympic arrivals, in an interview with Nikkei Asia.

The group’s arrival yesterday was the primary take a look at of Tokyo 2020’s COVID protocols, which took 5 hours in Narita Airport as athletes and coaches handed via COVID checks, immigration and customs.

“We’re getting many questions from different sports activities about what immigration was like. The Japanese have set it up very effectively on the airport,” says Deidre Anderson, Softball Australia’s athlete wellbeing supervisor.

3:40 p.m. Shigeru Omi, head of the federal government’s coronavirus advisory panel, calls on organizers to strengthen management techniques and downsize the video games.

“Holding the video games beneath the pandemic is often unthinkable,” Omi tells parliament. “If organizers need the video games to be staged, it’s their accountability to ramp up its management system whereas minimizing the dimensions of the video games as a lot doable.”

1:52 p.m. South Korea asks the Worldwide Olympic Committee to stress Japan to take away a reference to South Korea-controlled islands as Japanese territory on the Tokyo Video games web site.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee despatched a letter late Tuesday asking the IOC to “actively mediate” the dispute, which has sparked outrage and protests in South Korea.

Tuesday, June 1

5:50 p.m. Some 200 individuals from seven Japanese sports activities organizations obtained vaccinated on Tuesday, JOC secretary-general Tsuyoshi Fukui and Senior Government Board members Mitsugi Ogata say at a press briefing. They’re the primary of round 1,600 individuals together with athletes, coaches and employees of the Japan Olympic Committee to obtain doses.

5:16 p.m. South Korea summons Japan’s deputy ambassador to protest over a map on the Tokyo Olympics web site that confirmed a set of South Korea-controlled islands as Japanese territory. The small islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, have been on the heart of a decades-long territorial dispute.

2:00 p.m. A promising Myanmar swimmer is asking on the Worldwide Olympic Committee to ban the Myanmar Olympic Committee from representing the nation within the upcoming Tokyo Video games, saying it “doesn’t share Olympic values.”

Learn Rurika Imahashi’s interview with Win Htet Oo right here.

The Australian group arrives at Narita Airport in Chiba prefecture, Japan, on Tuesday.

  © Kyodo

1:50 p.m. Japan’s Digital Transformation Minister Takuya Hirai tells reporters that the estimated improvement price for a smartphone app to trace overseas guests’ whereabouts in the course of the Olympics will probably be 3.85 billion yen ($35.2 million), down 47% from the unique estimate. It is because capabilities are decreased because of the overseas spectator ban.

12:23 p.m. The Japan Soccer Affiliation says it has canceled a soccer sport between Japan and Jamaica after ten Jamaican gamers had been unable to board flights to Japan on account of causes akin to COVID testing strategies.

11:29 a.m. Not many cities appear keen to observe Ota in internet hosting overseas athletes. Over 100 native authorities have determined to cancel coaching camps, Japan’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa tells reporters. Normally, the camps give visiting athletes a chance to acclimatize to native circumstances and work together with residents.

10:43 a.m. Australia’s girls’s softball group lands at Narita Airport, changing into the primary group to reach in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. The 23 athletes, together with 7 coaches and employees, arrived early to get a headstart on the required quarantine interval. They may stay in a bubble in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, for 2 and a half months, with solely observe video games with native groups on their schedule.

10:10 a.m. Vaccinations for Japanese athletes begins Tuesday at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Nationwide Coaching Middle. Round 1,600 individuals together with athletes, coaches and employees of the Japan Olympic Committee will obtain doses.

8:17 a.m. With doable implications on whether or not she is going to seem on the Tokyo Olympics, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after deciding to boycott post-match media duties, explaining she had been affected by despair for nearly three years.

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