Moscow:Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, which is an official partner of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, asked Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday to cancel the event, citing pandemic-related threats to public safety and the strain on the country's health care system.
"We demand that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga evaluate the situation calmly and objectively, and decide against holding the Olympics and Paralympics this summer," the editorial team wrote.
Some Japanese polls suggest that most people indeed wanted the Olympics canceled. As of Wednesday, most of Japan's prefectures hosting the Olympics, including Tokyo, are in a state of emergency.
Last week, the Chair of the Coordinating Commission for the Games John Coates said that the Tokyo Olympics will be held even if a state of emergency is declared in the Japanese capital.
The Tokyo Games are due to take place from July 23 to August 8.
Tokyo may ask Japanese government to extend COVID-19 emergency: Governor
The Tokyo authorities may ask the central government to extend the current state of emergency due to persistently high COVID-19 incidence, Governor Yuriko Koike said on Wednesday.
Ten out of 47 Japanese prefectures are under the state of emergency at the moment, including Tokyo, where it was imposed in late April and then extended until May 31. The prefectures of Fukuoka and Hiroshima have already asked the government for an extension, Osaka has decided to follow suit, and Kyoto and Hyogo are also considering it.
"The situation has not yet returned to normal. We also need to take into account the time necessary for vaccination [results to emerge]. We are analyzing all of that and will decide on making a request to the government," Koike said, as quoted by NHK.
Despite a recent decline in Tokyo's COVID-19 cases, the overall incidence remains high, with the daily average of 600 cases in the last seven days. Experts are concerned that lifting the state of emergency may cause the incidence to spike.(SPUTNIK )