May 5, 2021
Committee of Seven to Appeal for World Peace
(founded in 1955)
Yoshino Oishi, Michiji Konuma, Satoru Ikeuchi, Shin’ichiro Ikebe, Kaoru Takamura, Susumu Shimazono
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled within 80 days on. The selection of athletes is approached in the final stages. The Olympic torch relay started. However, on some games and matches the normal selection processes could not be taken but the athletes had to be chosen by past records. Some parts of the torch relay are cancelled in public road and are held in empty venues.
These are due to rapid expansion of pandemic of COVID-19 and its variants. The Japanese Government is issuing the Declaration for State of Emergency and the Intensive Measures Preventing the Spread of Virus successively. But these actions are failing to put an end to ever spreading the infection. Even experts commissioned by the government regard the present situation as the arrival of the fourth wave of the infection. This is much larger than the past three waves of infection. On the other hand, the Government repeats slow actions making light of scientific judgment and neglecting their advices. The vaccination against the present virus is terribly behind schedule. The commitment to treat variants is too slow. The PCR tests are still limited in Japan.
In Japan the medical care system is collapsing by severe shortage of manpower and beds for patients in serious condition in spite of tireless efforts of medical personnel. More cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally in recent weeks than past.
Fifteen thousand Olympic and Paralympic athletes will come into Japan. Tens of thousands of judges, officials, media and broadcasters will also enter Japan. Many of them will come from infected areas to severely infected Japan. Very many volunteers will be mobilized in Japan. Many medical beds, medical personnel and medical instruments and materials are necessary but Japan can’t afford to share them to the Olympics and Paralympics since even now the collapse of medical system is expanding in many areas in Japan. Spectators from abroad during the Olympics and the Paralympics have already been refused. Domestic fans are told to be cut out from any direct contacts with Olympians. They will also be possible to be refused from the venues. Concrete plans are not publicly shown for safe and secure Olympics and Paralympics.
The Olympic Charter says that, in Fundamental Principles of Olympism, 2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.
Many possible risks are not denied. In this situation we should stand at the safe side. The non-holding of the Olympics and the Paralympics in summer 2021 should be decided as soon as possible.
The Japanese version of this appeal was issued on April 20, 2021.