The COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory for athletes at the Tokyo Olympics

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A no-entry sign stands in front of a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games billboard on an official building in Tokyo, Japan.  EFE / Franck Robichon / Archive
A no-entry sign stands in front of a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games billboard on an official building in Tokyo, Japan. EFE / Franck Robichon / Archive

The coronavirus vaccine “will not be mandatory” for athletes participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Japan’s Sports Minister Tamayo Marukawa said Wednesday. The statement is in line with previous announcements by Japanese authorities, but Contrasts with what was expressed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which urged athletes to get vaccinated before traveling to Tokyo.

“We will adopt the appropriate measures so that the Games take place in absolute safety without the need for it to be mandatory to be vaccinated”Marukawa reiterated in statements reproduced by the Italian news agency ANSA. The Tokyo government adopted the same position as the Sports Minister despite the uncertainty that prevails in the country in times of pandemic and within the framework of a vaccination campaign that began on February 17 and is progressing slowly.

Japan makes every effort to ensure that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, postponed one year due to covid-19, are held from July 23 “With guarantees and security,” according to the Japanese ambassador to Madrid, Kenji Hiramatsu, on Tuesday. In his public message on the occasion of the 61st birthday of Emperor Naruhito, which was celebrated without the traditional reception due to the pandemic, Hiramatsu said that Japan “faces with optimism” this 2021, thinking that “it is going to be a year of recovery in health and economically ”. Five months before the Olympics, which are “one of the key events of this year”, Hiramatsu He stressed that his country “makes every effort” so that they can develop “with guarantees and security.”

Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, speaks during a press conference following the Tokyo 2020 Executive Council meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on February 18, 2021. Yuichi Yamazaki / Pool via REUTERS
Seiko Hashimoto, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, speaks during a press conference following the Tokyo 2020 Executive Council meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on February 18, 2021. Yuichi Yamazaki / Pool via REUTERS

“I hope that our athletes, both Japanese and Spanish, can reap great triumphs,” he said. The celebration of the JJ.OO. Tokyo has not been without controversy. A few days ago the Chairman of the Japanese Organizing Committee, Yoshiro Mori, 83, resigned after saying that holding meetings with women was difficult because they talked “too much”. To Mori, who was prime minister decades ago, has happened to him in the Organizing Committee precisely a woman, Olympic medalist Seiko Hashimoto, who was born days before the first Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964, competed between 1984 and 1994 in four Olympic Games. winter as a speed skater and track cycling in the summer between 1988 and 1996.

In addition to showing his faith in the celebration of the Olympic Games, Hiramatsu highlighted the work carried out to strengthen bilateral relations and the contribution of Japanese companies based in Spain to the fight against covid-19. Spanish subsidiaries of Japanese companies such as Toyota, Nissan, Omron, Bridgestone, Sun Chemical, Fujitsu or Tokio Marine, among others, donated masks, gave their fleets of vehicles to transport health personnel, worked to ensure the supply of food, manufactured respirators , ceded intellectual property rights to patents or participated in an insurance fund to protect health workers engaged in the battle against this pandemic.

He also trusted in the development of bilateral relations as corresponds to “two full democracies that share fundamental principles and values”, in attracting Japanese companies and investments and in supporting Spanish companies to be present in the archipelago. Witness of the mutual interest between Japan and Spain as was evident by the cultural summers and autumns of Japan, in an “online” version last year, he affirmed that he will continue working on “what unites us and we like” such as gastronomy, anime , cinema or contemporary art. “We trust that the vaccination process (against covid-19) will allow us to place ourselves in a dynamic of progressive opening,” he concluded.

More on this topic:

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: A famous former athlete from Japan will take over the Organizing Committee after the sexist scandal
They arrested an Olympic medalist accused of heading an organization that traffics drugs hidden in candles
The story behind the false nomination of Finland’s coldest city for the Olympics
Men’s basketball was drawn for Tokyo 2020: Argentina and Spain will share the group after playing the final of the last World Cup

With information from Télam and EFE

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