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Should the 2021 Tokyo Olympics Get Canceled? Pros and Cons

Should the 2021 Tokyo Olympics get canceled? There are many arguments both for and against it, so we decided to sort them out and let you decide what you think.

For some background, the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, were delayed one year for the pandemic and are currently scheduled for July 23. But Japan is dealing with an outbreak of the virus and is struggling to lower daily cases. Several Japanese government officials have called for the games to be canceled, but the International Olympics Committee (IOC) persists that they continue as scheduled. 

Pros of letting the games go on


There is a lot of money tied up in the Olympics, including sponsorships, building venues and booking hotels; the local economy is stimulated by all of the new tourism. Canceling the games would leave a major hole in Tokyo’s wallet. A research institute found that Japan would lose ¥1.81 trillion or $21.3 billion if the games were canceled. Even if fans don’t come to the games, the IOC makes 75% of its revenue from selling the broadcasting rights to the games. 

If we don’t play them, we lose them.

With the next Winter Olympics set for Feb. 4, 2022, we cannot delay these Summer Games any longer. The IOC has said there is “no plan B” for the Olympics if the Tokyo games are canceled. 

A return to normalcy

We all remember the bleak sports-less months last spring and summer: What was usually a time for pride in our country was interrupted by a global pandemic. Now, many countries have fully vaccinated their Olympic athletes and controlled their infection rates. If they have enough vaccinated athletes, why shouldn’t we go on as planned?

Cons of letting the games go on

Japan’s virus numbers

Most of Japan is still in a state of emergency as they try to navigate the pandemic. They have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, with just 5.5% of their population vaccinated. Holding the games would cause strains from all over the world to be mixed and sent back to other countries. Japan has lost roughly 11,000 people to virus-related deaths. 

Global economic impact

Despite Japan potentially losing ¥1.81 trillion for canceling the games, spreading the virus and sending the world into another pandemic would far exceed the economic impact of canceling the games in Tokyo. 

Tokyo doesn’t want the games.

A January survey found that 80% of Tokyo’s population wanted the Olympics to be canceled. Things have only gotten worse for Japan since the time of that survey. A petition submitted to the IOC with nearly 500,000 signatures called for cancellation.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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