Japan is not at war, but one wouldn’t know it to hear the words coming out of the International Olympic Committee that the Olympics will go forward regardless of the state of emergency in Tokyo and that sacrifices need to be made.
1940 all over again
Japan is pressing forward with the Olympics in a way that would have made the 1940 leaders of Japan’s Imperial Army and Imperial Navy shudder in recognition of their historic dilemma then when committing to an un-winnable war with the United States because backing out was politically awkward.
Holding past Olympics has proven catastrophic for some countries that became saddled with huge debt.
These Olympics are poised to set a new level on the kind of catastrophe the Olympics can bring. Japan’s government, in its desire to put a good face on this shit show, have said that canceling is beyond its power and that only the IOC can pull the plug, which no one actually believes but which is on par with most of the nonsense that’s been spewed about this travesty since before Tokyo “won” them in 2013.
Regardless of what’s in Tokyo’s contract with the IOC, the games can’t go forward without Japan’s cooperation, withdraw that cooperation, and the country can set aside tickets, volunteers, venue security, medals, health care and transportation for visiting athletes and officials, but can instead focus on Japan’s own health security.
Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder of the Rakuten Group, has called the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics “a suicide mission,” but this mission has little in common with those Japan is historically infamous for. In the closing stages of World War II, when defeat was inevitable and surrendering “awkward,” Japanese soldiers and sailors were ordered to fly bomb-laden aircraft or guide manned torpedoes into enemy ships, but this is different.
Japan, which has bungled its vaccination rollout, is now virtually condemning individuals to death and disease by diverting resources and energy to ensuring the Olympics going forward, but is not informing the people that they are being sacrificed, and is in fact denying it.
Instead, Japan’s government has done everything it could to downplay the toll of its drive to make sure the Olympics go off without a hitch. The government’s stance when the coronavirus struck could have been stated as: “this could be awkward, so let’s keep it from getting too far out of hand while not making too big a deal about it either in the hope it blows over.”
That didn’t work well in 2020. The delays in coordinating a real response–as opposed to the Tokyo Olympic PR response the government pursued–have impacted Japan from Day 1. People have literally died because testing and tracing were hindered by government reluctance to publish numbers that might make Japan look like a less suitable Olympic destination.
But through half-hearted action with an eye on how everything would play for Tokyo 2020, the world has come to realize exactly that: That Japan’s coronavirus response has become the joke of Asia.
The Olympics would be safer without fans in attendance, but for many in the government, including Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and among organizers, that ship has now sailed, according to Kyodo News. The question is now how many can reasonably be crammed into venues.
Given the obvious bullshit coming from the government “We’ve never given the Olympics priority over the public,” Suga telling people fans will be in the stands, might as well come with the phrase: “Even if it kills them.”
No. The victims to be sacrificed in Japan’s Olympic suicide mission are not like the soldiers and sailors being ordered to their deaths in World War II, but more like their uncounted compatriots, civilians in Saipan and Okinawa whom the Imperial Army forced to commit suicide rather than risk capture.
If sacrifices are required, Japan has demonstrated it is not going to let death stand in the way of its Olympics.