— Published 1 June 2021

The Media, a risk factor

Tokyo 2020

The sky is clearing in Japan for Tokyo Games’ organisers. With less than two months to go before the opening ceremony, the organising committee is said to have secured about 80% of the medical staff needed to ensure the smooth running of the event. Toshiaki Endo, the vice-president of the organising committee, explained this to Reuters, specifying that the number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff had been reduced by a third compared to the initial forecasts of around 10,000 people. Toshiaki Endo said the organisers planned to work with 10 hospitals in Tokyo and 20 outside the city to respond to emergencies. When asked about the presence of spectators at competition venues, the Japanese leader was very evasive. “I personally thought that we should have quickly decided to hold the Games without spectators to reassure everyone,” he told Reuters. “But athletes want to be cheered on by the public. However, depending on the situation, we also have to consider the option of not having spectators.” For the vice-president of the organising committee, the main threat to the Games’ sanitary safety could come from the media. “Their movements will be under strict control, and we would feel safe if they respect these rules,” admitted the Japanese. “But we won’t be able to follow one person after another. We will have no choice but to trust them.”