More Companies Plan To Skip Olympic Opening Ceremony Amid Growing COVID Cases

Harry Wilmerding on July 20, 2021

More Japanese companies have decided to skip the Olympic opening ceremony Friday as concerns on whether to hold the Games grow amid a surge in coronavirus cases, Bloomberg reported.

Executives from Japanese companies Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp, Fujitsu Ltd and NEC Corp announced Tuesday they would skip the ceremony after officials made the decision to ban spectators, Bloomberg reported.

The announcement was made one day after Toyota Motor Corp. pulled all ads from Japanese TV, and said its President and Chief Operating Officer Akio Toyoda would not attend the opening ceremony, The New York Times reported.

“There are many issues with these games that are proving difficult to be understood,’ Toyota Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata told reporters on Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Meiji Holdings Co. and Ashi Group Holdings Ltd. have already decided not to send top representatives to the opening ceremony, and executives from Nippon Life Insurance and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group have also announced their bosses will not attend, according to Bloomberg.

Tokyo has seen a spike in coronavirus cases and many visiting athletes continue to test positive, The NYT reported.

Japan reported 2,368 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths on Tuesday, just three days before the opening ceremony, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Tokyo Olympics will be the first with no spectators, as Tokyo entered a state of emergency on July 12, the International Olympic Committee said in press release.

Japan has seen 844,386 coronavirus cases and 15,006 deaths and only about 22% of the population is vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.


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