Giant Olympic rings installed in Tokyo Bay ahead of summer games

UNTV News   •   January 17, 2020   •   1128

The Olympic Rings monument is installed at Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan epa08134620 A pedestrian watches the Olympic Rings monument on a vessel being installed at Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan, 17 January 2020. At Odaiba Marine Park, the Olympic aquatic events of marathon swimming and triathlon will be held. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will open on 24 July through 09 August 2020. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

Tokyo – Giant Olympic rings have been installed on the Tokyo waterfront as a monument adding to the Japanese capital’s urban landscape and atmosphere ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics, the capital’s metropolitan government announced on Friday.

The steel symbol of five interlocking rings in blue, yellow, black, green and red stands about 15.3 meters high and 32.6 meters wide on a floating platform at Odaiba Marine Park, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said in a statement.

Odaiba Marine Park will be the venue for the open-water marathon swimming (10 kilometers), as well as the triathlon events.

The huge symbol features a lighting system that will be switched on for the first time on Jan. 24, a date that marks exactly six months before the start of the Tokyo Games, along with a fireworks display in the bay and other events.

After the Olympics, to be held from Jul. 24 to Aug. 9 in Tokyo, the structure will be replaced by the symbol of the Paralympic Games, which will run from Aug. 25 to Sep. 6, according to organizers.

The monument can be seen from Friday in the vicinity of the iconic Rainbow Bridge, one of the most recognizable buildings in the Tokyo Bay landscape, where most of the Olympic venues are located. EFE-EPA


Tokyo could declare new emergency if coronavirus worsens

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

Tokyo could declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus situation in the Japanese capital deteriorates further, its governor warned on Friday (July 31).

Yuriko Koike said Tokyo had confirmed 463 new cases on Friday – another single-day record – and implored residents to follow health guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.

“If the situation worsens, Tokyo would have to think about issuing its own state of emergency,” Koike told a news conference.

The Japanese government lifted the nationwide state of emergency in late May after Japan appeared to have contained the outbreak, touting its mask-wearing habits and health system as some of the factors that helped it fare better than Europe and the United States.

But the virus has made a worrying resurgence. The number of daily new cases in Japan hit a new record on Thursday (July 30), with infections spreading rapidly not only in Tokyo but also in other regions. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Hideto Sakai)

Japan says no plans to return to state of emergency following record rise in COVID-19 cases

UNTV News   •   July 30, 2020

Japan has indicated that the current coronavirus situation in the country does not require a return of a state of emergency, according to the government’s top spokesman on Thursday (July 30).

Asked about the record number of cases from a day earlier exceeding 1,000 for the first time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga repeated that the current situation did not warrant a state of emergency, which would restrict economic activity.

“On the other hand, there has been a rise in the number of cases, including among older people,” he told a news conference. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

According to public broadcaster NHK, Japan saw a record increase of 1,264 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (July 29) alone.

The Nikkei business daily reported Thursday that Tokyo plans to urge shorter operating hours for restaurants and karaoke parlors in August to deal with the recent spike in infections. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai)

A year to go, rearranged Tokyo Olympics remain shrouded in uncertainty

UNTV News   •   July 21, 2020

This time last year, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach declared Tokyo the best prepared host city he had ever seen before a glitzy ceremony to celebrate one year until the Games.

Even six months ago, when fireworks erupted over a giant, luminous set of Olympic rings in Tokyo Bay, organisers were full of hope at delivering an unforgettable Games.

However, just two months later plans that had taken almost a decade to execute were shredded as the global coronavirus pandemic forced the IOC and the Japanese government to take the unprecedented decision to postpone the Olympics for a year.

Now, as Tokyo prepares to mark one year to go until the rearranged Games on Thursday (July 23), there is no doubt these Olympics will live long in the memory but organisers are desperate it is for the right reasons.

Since the postponement decision in late March, all 42 venues for the Games have been secured and the competition schedule announced with the opening ceremony taking place in the 156.9 billion yen ($1.44 billion) National Stadium on July 23, 2021.

Yet beyond that, questions remain about almost all aspects of hosting what Bach has called the ‘most complex event on this planet’.

What hasn’t been decided is how much rearranging the Games is going to cost the Japanese taxpayer.

Whilst the IOC have said their share of the bill will be some $800 million, Tokyo 2020 organizers have repeatedly refused to put a number on likely costs to Japanese stakeholders.

With the Games already costing over 1.35 trillion yen ($12.35 billion) before the postponement, more expenditure could further disenfranchise a Japanese population already turning their backs on the once-popular Olympics.

In addition to costs, other major issues dominate any conversation on the rearranged Games.

Most important – as stressed numerous times by Bach – is athlete safety.

Organisers have said all efforts will be made to ensure the 11,000 qualified athletes can travel safely to Tokyo and compete in world class surroundings.

How this will be achieved with athletes travelling from across the world and staying in the Athletes’ Village has yet to be finalised.

Whether these athletes will be competing in empty venues is another major question.

Tokyo 2020 hasn’t confirmed how many tickets have been sold but in the most recent Games budget, organizers said $800 million had been raised through ticket sales.

However, with sports events starting up across the world in empty stadiums, it remains to be seen whether fans will be allowed to attend the Olympics next year.

The challenges facing Olympics organizers are unprecedented but under questioning from athletes, fans, and sponsors, they need to find answers quickly. (Reuters)

(Production: Jack Tarrant)



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