Tokyo Games could create an ‘Olympic strain,’ warns head of Japan Doctors Union as he calls for event to be CANCELLED
The chairman of the Japan Doctors Union warned on Thursday (May 28) that an “Olympic strain” of the coronavirus could emerge if the event takes place.
Speaking in Tokyo, Naoto Ueyama said: "If the Olympic games are to be held in Tokyo, this will mean that people will be coming to Japan from 200 different countries around the world; tens of thousands of people indeed.
"This could mean potentially that all the different mutant strains of the virus that exist in different places will be concentrated and gathering here in Tokyo.
"We cannot deny the possibility of even a new strain of the virus potentially emerging after the Olympics as well."
Ueyama was speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.
He said a request had been submitted to the Government on May 13 to cancel the Tokyo Games and accused some in authority of "acting like dictators" in asking Japanese citizens to make sacrifices in order for the event to go ahead.
A long-time critic of the Olympics, he said: "There is even the risk that the Tokyo Olympics could prove an obstacle to overcome COVID-19.
"In order to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic we need to make sure that such obstacles will not be allowed to go ahead and this is why we put forward the call for the Olympics to be cancelled.
"However, given this risk which is there in place, there are some people who are acting almost as dictators asking for people to make sacrifices in order for the Olympic games to be going ahead.
"It is dangerous to hold the Olympics games here in Tokyo this July. It is now the time when people all around the world work together in order to stop them from going ahead."