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Japanese divided over whether Tokyo Olympics should proceed

Video credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on March 20, 2020 - Duration: 02:13s

Japanese divided over whether Tokyo Olympics should proceed

People in Tokyo are divided as to whether Tokyo should proceed according to schedule with the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics amid the rising number of coronavirus cases/

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Japanese divided over whether Tokyo Olympics should proceed

SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (MARCH 20, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

TRAFFIC ON STREET IN GINZA 2.

PEDESTRIANS WALKING 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 55 YEAR-OLD COMPANY EMPLOYEE, KOICHIRO MAEDA, SAYING: "I think it's impossible (to hold the Games).

It'll be a global issue if the virus spreads even further.

This (the virus) isn't a problem just for the Japanese people." 4.

MEN WALKING WITH BICYCLES 5.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 78 YEAR-OLD TOKYO RESIDENT, EICHI SHIMOKAWA, SAYING: "At the moment, I think the virus has come under control a bit in Tokyo.

I think it'll get better in the coming days.

So I think it's still possible." 6.

WOMEN TALKING ON STREET 7.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 59 YEAR-OLD COMPANY EMPLOYEE, YUKIE TAKEMURA, SAYING: "I think there's a 30 percent chance (that the Games will be held as planned).

But that's just my wish to see it.

I think there's a 70 percent chance that it will get cancelled, because there are overseas travel bans all over the world." 8.

PEDESTRIANS WEARING FACE MASKS 9.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 35 YEAR-OLD COMPANY EMPLOYEE, WATARU SUZUKI, SAYING: "There are so many people infected in Italy and China.

There's a chance the athletes are also infected.

If those people come to Japan, there's a chance the virus will spread even if we get it contained.

I don't think we should cancel it but postponing would be good." 10.

PEDESTRIANS WALKING 11.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 35 YEAR-OLD NURSE, YUMIKO SHIMIZU, SAYING: "There are athletes that have been working hard (for the Games) up until now, so I think the impact will be big if we cancel it.

So I think we should postpone but eventually have it." 12.

PEDESTRIANS WALKING ON STREET 13.

JAPANESE FLAG ON BUILDING STORY: People in Tokyo were divided on Friday (March 20) as to whether Tokyo should proceed according to schedule with the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in Japan and overseas.

Organisers have repeatedly said the Games, set to run from July 24 to Aug.

9, will go ahead, but as the rapid spread of the virus brings the sports world to a virtual standstill, fears are growing that the Olympics may be postponed or cancelled.

"It'll be a global issue if the virus spreads even further.

It's not a problem just for the Japanese people," said Tokyo resident Koichiro Maeda, who thought it would "impossible" to hold the games as planned.

Some were more optimistic about the prospects of the games proceeding on schedule.

"At the moment, I think the virus has come under control a bit in Tokyo.

I think it'll get better in the coming days.

So I think it's still possible," said 78-year-old Eichi Shimokawa.

The Olympic flame arrived at Japan Air Self-Defence Force's Matsushima base on Friday, but no spectators were present for the ceremony.

Even as government officials have reiterated that the Games would go on, the deputy head of Japan's Olympic committee, Kozo Tashima, tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday (March 17).

(Production: Akiko Okamoto)

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