56 years ago, on October 10, 1964, the 18th Summer Olympics opened in Tokyo. This is the first time the Olympic flame has come to Asia. At the opening ceremony, Japanese university student Yoshino Sakai, who was born on the day of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, lit the Olympic flame, a symbol of peace.
56 years later, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics became the first Olympic Games postponed due to the epidemic in modern Olympic history.
This is not the first time the Olympic Games have faced a virus. On the eve of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, cholera cases appeared outside Tokyo. The seventh cholera pandemic started in 1961. Due to changes in the bacterial source, epidemiological prevention and control became more difficult. It spread from Sulawesi, Indonesia to the surrounding areas, first spread to Europe and Asia, and then spread to Africa in 1970. Eventually it spread to more than 140 countries and regions around the world, with at least 3.5 million reported cases. Fortunately, the Tokyo Olympics were not affected.
As early as 1936, Japan won the right to host the 1940 Olympic Games, but because of the pressure of the international community during the Second World War, it had to give up hosting it. After the war, in 1955, Japan tried to bid for the 1960 Olympics, but lost to Rome, Italy. In 1959, Tokyo bid again, and finally successfully defeated Brussels in Belgium, Vienna in Austria, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Detroit in the United States, becoming the first Asian country to host the Olympic Games.
The significance of the Olympics to the Japanese nation is extraordinary. In the mid to late 1950s, Japan's national power surpassed its pre-World War II level. In order to get rid of the shadow of war and show the world the determination and strength to rejuvenate and rebuild its homeland, the 1964 Olympic Games gave Japan a great opportunity and also broke Japan's long-term isolation and alienation after World War II.
Taking advantage of the opportunity of hosting the Olympics, the Japanese government has invested a lot of money and manpower to carry out major renovations to domestic infrastructure. The world’s first commercial high-speed railway, the Tokaido Shinkansen, was put into use a few days before the opening of the Olympics. The Metropolitan Expressway and Tokyo Metro System have also undergone a substantial expansion of the road network in response to the Olympics. At the same time, it spent 3 billion US dollars on the construction of stadiums and built the famous Tokyo National Athletic Sports Center, Budo Hall and other sports facilities.
The 1964 Tokyo Olympics was regarded as a turning point in Japan's national movement. Japan took this as an opportunity to further accelerate its economic take-off. As a national project, the Tokyo Olympics received a budget of 1 trillion yen, equivalent to one-third of the parliamentary budget at the time.
If the 1964 Tokyo Olympics are "a stage for Japan to enter the world", then the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will carry "Japan's opportunity to accept the world." The Japanese government hopes that the Olympic Games can bring long-term and comprehensive benefits in terms of enhancing national self-confidence, driving urban infrastructure construction, and enhancing national cohesion. The Tokyo Olympics, which was once called by the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to "remove the triggers of Japan's deflation and economic recession" and "let the nation's fortune in Japan reopen" in the people's mouth, was once rumored to be cancelled due to the impact of the epidemic. Down.
Just last month, the new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga categorically declared at the United Nations General Assembly that next summer, Japan is determined to host the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and he will spare no effort in this regard. Although F1, U.S. Open, French Open and other individual international sports competitions have been launched one after another to restore confidence in sports events, the scale and scope of the Olympic Games are not comparable to ordinary events. The determination of the Japanese government now is more like cheering for itself.
At present, the epidemic prevention situation in Japan is not optimistic. Although the daily life of the people has basically returned to normal, the number of confirmed cases of the new crown remains high. According to the latest data on the 10th, there were 249 new confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia that day, which has exceeded 200 for 3 consecutive days. So far, the total number of confirmed cases in Tokyo has reached 27,569.
Why will Tokyo host the Olympic Games "at all costs"? Because there are unbearable losses. The Olympic Games is a concentrated display of a country's comprehensive national strength, economic strength, scientific and technological strength, and cultural charm, and involves the interests of all parties. Relevant data shows that Japan has invested more than 3 trillion yen (approximately US$27.3 billion) for the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games has formed a huge economic and profit chain.
The author believes that even if the Japanese government has greater determination, vaccines are still the key to determining whether the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can be successfully held. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada were successfully held because of the flu vaccine. In June 2009, WHO announced that the H1N1 influenza had entered the global pandemic stage. Fortunately, a vaccine has been developed before the opening of the Winter Olympics. While purchasing special medicines, the Olympic Organizing Committee also requires participants from various countries to vaccinate in advance.
The Tokyo Olympics is still undertaking various preparations in accordance with the situation that there is no vaccine next year. Recently, the Tokyo Olympics Epidemic Prevention Committee discussed the epidemic prevention measures in the Olympic Village and competition venues, involving temporary epidemic prevention measures in the Olympic Village and competition venues. For example, athletes need to wear masks and disinfect their hands in time, avoid gatherings, and perform virus testing on athletes.
If the epidemic is to be completely controlled, it still depends on the advent of vaccines. Before he stepped down as prime minister, Shinzo Abe had reached agreements with pharmaceutical companies in the United States and the United Kingdom on vaccine procurement, striving to ensure vaccines available to all citizens by the first half of next year. If the new crown vaccine has not been launched next year, the Tokyo Olympics may still be postponed or cancelled again.