— Published 19 January 2021

A victory for man against the virus

With less than 200 days before the Tokyo Games, as the health crisis worsens around the world, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is standing upright in his boots. He took advantage of his opening speech of the new parliamentary session, Monday, January 18, to repeat his conviction that the capital will be able to organise the Games in July and August 2021. “To prove the victory of humans against the virus”, he insisted. But the head of government acknowledged that the Tokyo Games would be strongly affected by the measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic. “We will have all the anti-virus measures in place and will launch preparations in a determined way to hold the Games that will bring hope and courage to the whole world”, he said. Yoshihide Suga said his government should start a massive vaccination campaign at the end of February, as soon as health authorities approve the vaccine developed by Pfizer. A new ministry will soon be established, responsible for ensuring the delivery of a safe and effective vaccine and then its distribution among the population. It will be directed by the current Minister of Administrative Reform Taro Kono, who stood out last week as the first member of the government to publicly express his doubts about hosting the Tokyo Games.