TOKYO—Opposition to the Tokyo Olympics opening in two months has deepened in Japan and unfold to some distinguished enterprise leaders regardless of organizers highlighting latest warm-up occasions as proof that the Video games can safely go forward.

On Sunday,

Masayoshi Son,

the chief govt of know-how funding firm

SoftBank Group Corp.

, painted a situation through which arriving athletes and officers triggered a brand new wave of infections with virus variants, resulting in deaths, extra emergency shutdowns and additional shrinkage of Japan’s economy.

Canceling the Video games may convey monetary losses, however by holding them, Mr. Son wrote on Twitter,  “I feel we’re going to lose one thing a lot larger.”

Hiroshi Mikitani,

the chief govt of e-commerce firm

Rakuten Group Inc.,

stated in a recent interview with CNN that the Olympics have been a “suicide mission.”

Olympic organizers say the occasion gained’t be canceled. On Friday,

John Coates,

the top of the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s coordination fee for the Tokyo Olympics, stated round 80% of athletes and officers have been set to be vaccinated, and strict restrictions on motion would stop contact with the general public.

“I can say it’s now clearer than ever that these Video games shall be protected for everybody collaborating, and importantly protected for the individuals of Japan,” Mr. Coates stated.

The Japanese are skeptical. Latest opinion polls present rising majorities against the Video games happening. A mid-Might survey by the Asahi newspaper discovered that 83% of individuals wished the occasion to be canceled or postponed, up from 69% in April.

Japan has pushed to save lots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer season, that are set to be the costliest Video games ever. WSJ’s Alastair Gale stories from Tokyo as officers reply to rising Covid-19 considerations from athletes and the general public. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/Related Press

Concern a couple of unfold of an infection isn’t restricted to Japan. A survey taken in neighboring South Korea on Might 21 by polling firm Realmeter confirmed that 78% of individuals have been towards the Tokyo Olympics happening this yr.

Mr. Coates pointed to a series of test events for the Olympics which have been held in Japan in latest months with no proof of a selection of Covid-19. Some have included athletes from outdoors Japan, however most individuals have been Japanese.

Behind Japan’s anxiousness is a slow rollout of vaccines. Japan has simply begun large-scale vaccination of its aged inhabitants. Tokyo and several other different main city areas of Japan are beneath a state of emergency scheduled to final till the tip of Might and meant to drive down new virus circumstances.

Requested if the Olympics would happen throughout a state of emergency, Mr. Coates stated: “The reply is totally sure.”

Potential virus dangers on the Video games embody different teams coming from abroad comparable to dignitaries and media personnel. Organizers say the guests’ actions shall be restricted and all will face frequent testing.

A number of check occasions for the Olympics have been held in Japan in latest months with no unfold of Covid-19, some have argued.


issei kato/Reuters

Authorities spokesman

Katsunobu Kato

stated on Monday that Olympic organizers “are organising a strong system in order that the holding of the Olympics won’t end in infections domestically.”

Japanese Prime Minister

Yoshihide Suga

has additionally repeatedly said that the Olympics shall be protected however has suffered declines in his help. A ballot taken by the Mainichi newspaper on Might 22 gave Mr. Suga a 31% public approval ranking, down 9 share factors from April.

On Monday, an adviser to Mr. Suga resigned after going through public criticism for tweeting that it might be laughable if the Olympics have been canceled due to Japan’s comparatively low ranges of an infection in contrast with the U.S., India and different international locations.

Robust public opinion towards the Video games going forward presents a dilemma for sponsors of the Video games. At a information convention Might 12,

Jun Nagata,

an govt at top-tier Olympic sponsor

Toyota Motor Corp.

, referred to circumstances of Japanese individuals directing their considerations in regards to the security of the Video games on the athletes.

“As a sponsor, that is actually painful for us, and it distresses us day by day considering what to do about it,” he stated.

Write to Alastair Gale at

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