Tokyo Olympics: Mass protests as Tokyo reports new cases near 2,000 a day before Olympics opening ceremony
Xtra Time Web Desk: Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building on Friday protesting against the Tokyo Olympics which starts in a few hours from now. The Japanese capital hit a six month high in new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a day before the Tokyo Games will begin. Thursday’s 1,979 new cases are the highest since 2,044 were recorded on Jan. 15.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, has already declared a state of emergency on July 12. But still daily cases have been increasing sharply which is raising concerns for the Government authorities. Suga’s government has been criticized for what some say is prioritizing the Olympics over the nation’s health. His public support ratings have fallen to around 30% in recent media surveys, and there has been little festivity ahead of the Games.
Meanwhile the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will only be attended by 1000 guests at the 68000 capacity Olympic Stadium on Friday evening. Japan’s Emperor Naruhito will attend the opening ceremony along with US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Spectators are banned from all venues in the Tokyo area, with limited audiences allowed at a few outlying sites.
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