Japan travel ban announced by the CDC darkens clouds over scheduled summer Tokyo Olympics

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People take part in a protest against the hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Tokyo on May 17, 2021. Credit: LA Times
People take part in a protest against the hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Tokyo on May 17, 2021. Credit: LA Times

The Tokyo Olympics, postponed in 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing increasing hurdles in putting on a 2021 show.

The latest troubling sign for the Summer Games came [May 24] when the State Department advised US citizens against traveling to Japan because of a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases.

Japan has seen a big increase in Covid-19 cases, which have steadily risen since a state of emergency was lifted in March.
Its vaccine rollout has been slow compared with other places in Asia because of a shortage of medical professionals and a lack of syringes. Only about 2% of Japanese citizens have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine.
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There’s been mounting pressure to postpone the Games again.

Pushing back against critics, [the] International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Japanese and Tokyo 2020 officials would make the right decision on managing the situation and that the risks had been managed well so far.

The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association, an organization of about 6,000 doctors in Tokyo, recently penned a letter calling for a cancellation, while a petition that got 350,000 signatures in nine days in support of a cancellation was submitted to organizers.

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