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Japan

Tokyo Olympics, Countdown To The Impossible Games

Though every day a new bit of bad COVID-related (and other) news arrives, the already once-delayed Summer Olympic Games must go on.

A police officer wearing a mask walks past Olympic rings at the entrance to Olympic Village
A police officer wearing a mask walks past Olympic rings at the entrance to Olympic Village
Philippe Mesmer and Philippe Pon

TOKYO — There will be a notable "before" and "after" for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The international competition, which was postponed a full-year due to the pandemic, will begin Friday. The countries slated to host the following Olympic Games (starting with China for the Winter Games in 2022 and France for the Summer Games in 2024) are likely paying close attention to the lessons they can draw from the trap the Japanese government fell into by wanting to maintain the event at all costs, defying the advice of medical experts and ignoring the overwhelming opposition of the majority of the Japanese public.

As a result of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases (particularly due to the Delta variant), the Olympics will be held under a state of emergency, with no spectators allowed at most stadiums and competitions. The event, which is meant to be a place for intercultural exchange, will be deprived of the festive character it is meant to symbolize.

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A man walks on a tank left behind by Russian troops, on display in Kyiv’s Mykhailivska Square.

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

[*Swedish]

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