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PICS: Anti-Olympic protests take centre stage in Tokyo

By Rediff Sports
July 17, 2021 16:28 IST
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Protesters demonstrate against the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday

IMAGE: Protesters demonstrate against the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday. Photographs: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Protestors gathered in numbers at the International Broadcasting Centre in Tokyo where the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board Committee was being held.

 

Protesters gathered to demonstrate against IOC President Thomas Bach’s visit to Hiroshima amid concern over the safety of holding the Games during the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Last week, protests were held outside the venue of the Olympic torch relay. 

On Saturday, the first COVID case found at athletes' village despite the IOC’s promise of a ‘safe and secure’ Games.

Police officers gather before a demonstration against the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday.  

IMAGE: Police officers gather before a demonstration against the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

According to AP, minor scuffles broke out after the police stopped the protesters along their march around 20 meters away from the venue of the IOC’s meeting.

The IOC said it was aware of scepticism within Japan about staging the Tokyo Olympics during a pandemic but it is hoping success on the field of play for the host nation could change the mood.

"We ask and invite the Japanese people, humbly, to welcome and support the athletes from around the world. They (athletes) have the same interest as the Japanese people for a safe and secure Games," he said.

A protester in Tokyo 

The Olympics, deferred by a year, because of the pandemic, will be held with virtually no fans. Fans from abroad were banned several months ago, and last week Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures banned all local fans.

A few outlying venues are expected to allow a smattering of fans.

A woman holding a placard marches during a demonstration against the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games  

New COVID-19 cases on Friday in Tokyo were reported at 1,271. They were 822 a week ago, and it marks the 27th straight day that cases were higher than a week previous. New cases on Thursday were reported at 1,308, which was the highest in six months.

A senior Anti-Olympics protester in Tokyo

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