Toyota Rules Out Games Ads In Fourth Covid Case In Olympic Village
On Monday, a fourth coronavirus case was discovered in the Tokyo Olympic Village, and key sponsor Toyota said that it will not air any Games-related television commercials as the event fights for funding only days before the opening ceremony.
In the Village, where thousands of competitors live in a biosecure “bubble,” a Czech beach volleyball player became the fourth case and the third infected athlete.
The 2020 Olympic Games will begin on Friday in a near-empty Olympic Stadium, with Tokyo under a coronavirus emergency following a rise in cases.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, 55 percent of respondents were opposed to the Games being held this summer, while 33 percent were in favor.
The Games, which were postponed last year, have not had a smooth final build-up, but authorities will hope that public attitude shifts once the sports program begins.
Toyota, the world’s largest manufacturer, has said that it will not run Olympic-related TV advertising and that its leaders will not be present at the opening ceremony, reflecting the current mood.
“Toyota officials will not attend the opening ceremony,” Toyota spokesperson Shiori Hashimoto told AFP. “The main reason for this is that there will be no spectators.”
According to Japanese media, just 1,000 Olympic officials and VIPs, including sponsors, will be permitted to attend the opening ceremony on Friday.
Jun Nagata, Toyota’s operating officer, had warned reporters that it was getting more difficult for the Olympics to connect with the public.
Nagata told Japanese media, “It’s developing into an Olympics that can’t garner comprehension (from the people) in numerous ways.”
Despite the diagnosis of Czech beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic, which came after positive tests from two South African footballers and a video analyst, organizers said the Village was safe.
Twenty-one members of the South African men’s football team have been placed in isolation after being identified as close contacts, delaying their first game against Japan on Thursday.
Masa Takaya, a spokesperson for Tokyo 2020, said there have been 61 positive instances linked to the Games so far, which is a small proportion of the hundreds of tests conducted.
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 have made it very clear that the Olympic Village is a safe place to stay,” Takaya told reporters.
Brian McCloskey, chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s Independent Expert Panel, said a system of “filtering” was in place, beginning with athletes being checked before leaving.
“What we’re seeing in terms of numbers is. Brief News from Washington Newsday.