As the UEFA Euros are underway across Europe, showcasing the return of spectator sports on the world stage, Japan is preparing to host an even bigger event in less than a month. With COVID cases down and the state of emergency freshly lifted in most of the country, it may look like the timing could hardly be better for the Olympics to come to Tokyo, at least under the given circumstances. For many people in Japan, however, the thought of hosting thousands of athletes, trainers, and media workers from all over the world in the middle of a pandemic remains daunting, especially under the specter of the more infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.
And while roughly 18,000 workers directly involved in the Tokyo Olympics will be vaccinated ahead of the Games, as the organizers recently announced, the same cannot be said of the Japanese population, which trails other rich countries by a wide margin in terms of vaccination progress. According to official figures tracked by Our World in Data, less than 20 percent of the Japanese population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by June 22, compared to 53 percent in the U.S., 48 percent in the EU and 43 percent in China. The contrast is even more startling when looking at fully vaccinated people, where Japan stands at a rate of just 8 in 100 people.
Tokyo 2020 will kick off with the opening ceremony on July 23 and competitions will be held until August 8. The spectator limit has been set at 50 percent of venue capacity up to a maximum of 10,000 people. Masks will be mandatory at all times and other rules to limit infection risk will be implemented. The Paralympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5. A decision on spectator limits for the Paralympics will be made on July 16.
This chart compares vaccination progress against COVID-19 in Japan to other countries.
Wall Street Examiner Disclosure: Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler, unless authored by me, under my byline. I curate posts here on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. No endorsement of such content is either expressed or implied by posting the content. All items published here are matters of information and opinion, and are neither intended as, nor should you construe it as, individual investment advice. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of information providers, or considering any investment.