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  • Saanya Amalean

Monday Market Musings >>> How the Olympics Became Japan's Economic Disaster

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was intended to boost the spirits of those around the world, after a harrowing past year with the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead Japan has had to endure wave after wave of heightened pressures since the games began.

Expenditure on the games totalled to an estimated $15 billion and sponsor companies such as Toyota have refused to run ads for the event. Much to the dismay of organisers, spectators and citizens of the host country, the Olympic Games has become a hub for the pandemc, with more than a hundred cases reported of just the first day, since the games were declared open.

Whilst many have been waiting eagerly and anticipating the games that were initally meant to be held last year, there has been a growing fear amidst escalations in cases, with supporters now confined to the limits of their tv screens and digital devices to enjoy the event.

The games were said to generate economic benefits valued at $300 billion, with Japan marking its fourth official appearance as host. Pressures have shifted to Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, who actively took the decision to hold the Olympics, taking into into account the public's strong disapproval. A survey held in earlier in May indicated that 83% of respondents wanted the Olympics to be postponed or cancelled this year.

The necessity to enforce strict safety measures meant that no international visitors were allowed entry, and seating was limited to 50% capacity. Based on this, the country stands to lose a staggering $900 million in ticket sales.

Japan's economy is taking a heavy toll, with 2,300+ cases daily and vaccination schemes that have only picked up pace recently.

Sports is said to be a harbringer of unity, one that brings together cultures and transcends social boundaries. However, this year's Olympic Games suggest otherwise, with the event turning from a a grand vision to a situation of crisis management. All Japan can hope to do now it ensure that, participants and all those involved suffer minimal damage and are able to return home safely.

Published 26th July 2021 | 11:41 am

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