Protesters gathered outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building on 23 July as the Olympic torch arrived at the complex in the lead up to the opening ceremony that is to take place later in the day. The ceremony will take place at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo and protesters said that they would continue to hold demonstrations as close as possible to the stadium.
“Today is the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics and we strongly call for its cancellation. So it is a protest against the Olympics. Now the Olympic flame is coming to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, so now we are protesting here,” a protestor told India Today.
“After that, we will protest together at Harajuku station and then a demonstration near the Olympic stadium. The police is highly regulated around the stadium so the demonstration has to be far from it. We are trying to get close to the stadium and keep up the protest,” she further said.
The Olympics gets underway on 23 July amid restrictions and protocols due to the pandemic. Tokyo will be under a state of emergency throughout the hosting of the Games.
Massive protests have taken place all over Japan, asking for the cancellation of the Games, but Tokyo 2020 organisers and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) are willing to put their reputation at risk to go ahead with the delayed Olympics amid the challenges they continue to face in another pandemic year.
The opening ceremony will be the first to take the hit when it starts in Tokyo on 23 July afternoon. The ceremony will not have the mass choreography, huge props and the cornucopia of dancers, actors and lights this time, as confirmed by Marco Balich, longtime opening ceremonies executive producer, and now a senior advisor to the Tokyo ceremonies executive producer.
So far there have been 67 cases of Covid-19 infections in Japan among those accredited for the Games since 1 July, when many athletes and officials started arriving.