Debate: Topic and Outline
いつもの様に Akiko と Benjamin 二人の会話形式で内容を紹介します。この件についてのディスカッションを Akiko と Benjamin二人の会話形式で内容を紹介します。
Late January, 200 people in Wuhan, China was infected by the novel coronavirus and 25 have lost their lives. The novel coronavirus was identified as a new type of pneumonia. This part of China has a lot of car manufacturing factories, Japanese car companies such as Honda and Nissan also have factories there and they had to shut down their operation which lead to negative economic impacts. In February, Diamond Princess a cruise ship docked in Yokohama had 3700 passengers. Out of all the passengers 61 were reported infected.
At this point no one thought that this virus will have an effect on the Tokyo Olympics.
In mid-February, the number of infected rose in Italy, Mirano and different areas of Europe. Countries started to close their borders and refuse people to enter the country. By March, the number of infected did not slow down and the virus has spread to the United States and all other countries. President Trump has made a comment to postpone the Tokyo Olympics. Still prime minister Abe was determined to plan the Olympics on schedule. The world is in confusion and the situation is at the moment not improving.
I would like to organize the information on the virus and discuss about the dates of the Olympics. As always, we would introduce this topic in discussion style by Akiko and Benjamin.
Discussion until Mid-March
Akiko: It seems that Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled in July may not go as planned, what do you think?
Benjamin: The president of the IOC Thomas Bach is not agreeing with prime minister Abe and governor of Tokyo Koike. Since they have a lot of impact on the international community at the moment so they kept on stating that they would not change the dates.
Akiko: From mid mid-March, the press and the athletes started to give criticism against the IOC and the Japanese government.
Benjamin: The athletes are the main participants so their statements cannot be ignored. For example, Katerina Stefanidi, the current pole vault champion from Greece, stated that “The IOC wants us to keep risking our health, our family’s health and public health to train every day? You are putting us in danger right now, today, not in 4 months,”
Akiko: What other statements are made?
Benjamin: Juan Antonio Samaranch, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, has stated that “the Olympics cannot be held unless it is fair for all the athletes.” Yamaguchi, a Japanese athlete, stated that the Olympics should not be held when everyone in the world cannot enjoy it”. From these criticism, IOC president Bach statements are changing.
Akiko: How is his statements changing?
Benjamin: He stated that “We cannot still decide if we are able to hold the Olympics as schedule at this time” and he adds on saying “We are also thinking of another scenario”.
Akiko: I have no idea what kind of scenario they have in mind but I guess postponing the dates is one of the plans. I have no idea how long the games are going to be postponed, but I would like to discuss this issue.
Benjamin: Trump has mentioned one or two years. His statement seems a one-sided opinion.
Akiko: What was Trump’s intention?
Benjamin: It is estimated that the United States the issue of the novel corona virus will slow down after a year. And Trump also has the presidential election in November, so he probably has no time to concentrate on the Olympics. Recently (March 20th), European countries have been discussing about postponing the Olympics to next year.
Akiko: Why is that?
Benjamin: 1: Would Japan be able to protect the health of athletes and the public? 2: Training facilities have closed in some countries and the athletes are not able to train, making it unfair.
Akiko: How should we respond to these problems?
Benjamin: For issue 1, it depends on whether Japan (Tokyo)can confidently state that they can protect everyone’s health. Prime minister Abe and governor Koike should take responsibility and state whether they can do that. For issue 2, situations differ greatly among countries, this issue may be a long term one. The number of infected could rise in North America and it may take them 2 years to settle down.
Akiko: That is true, it will probably take a year to settle down. Will Japan be able to control the situation until autumn?
Benjamin: Prime minister Abe is probably thinking of settling the situation until autumn. For Japanese athletes if they do not train for a month, they will have to train for another 3 to 4 months to get back in their best condition. Thus, it is better if the issue settles down faster.
Akiko: It is said that 43 percent of the athletes that are going to compete in the Olympics is still undecided, this is related to the fairness problem. Also, the buildings in the Olympic village is planned to be sold the public. If the Olympics is going to be postponed for a year, the issue of compensation may rise.
Benjamin: Well we have to think about the athletes first. I heard there are still athletes that are not even in the preliminary stage. Japan has to prepare when to hold the preliminary stages.
Akiko: I feel like this issue is still going to be a problem for a while.
Benjamin: We may not have the Olympics at all. This is no longer an issue of one country it is an international issue.
Discussion taken place in late March, Conclusion
The Olympics has been heavy effected with the spread of the novel corona virus. The IOC and the Japanese government have discussed and have reached to a conclusion.
Akiko: What kind of conclusion did the IOC make?
Benjamin: On March 20th president Bach, the Japanese government, and governor Koike has talked over the phone and have decided to postpone the Olympics. They said that they will give out the specifics within 4 weeks.
Akiko: How long will they postpone the Olympics?
Benjamin: The IOC announced that they will postpone the Olympics to 2021 July 23rd to August 6th.
Akiko: How did Japan take place in the decision making?
Benjamin: The Japanese government have discussed this issue through the phone and they have been trying to avoid cancelling the Olympics. And the athletes will have more time to train and practice so that would be a positive as well.
Akiko: I guess this decision was a positive one.
-Written by Chiba and Translated by Kaizuka.