As the United States COVID numbers plunge to numbers not seen since the earliest days of the pandemic and the outlook becomes much more optimistic for Mexico and much of Europe, there are other areas not as fortunate. On Monday the U.S. State Department added Japan to its 'do not travel' list, as the pandemic's 'fourth wave' hit the Far East earlier this spring. Neighboring countries such as South Korea and the Philippines are likewise coming out of recent spikes. Taking into account Japan's 123 million population, the current seven-day case rate stands at 5,272, below the United States current numbers of approximately 20,000 - but four times above Japan's numbers during July 2020. The current hospitalization rate in Tokyo is 37 percent; the number is 14 percent in Osaka, with 96 percent of hospital beds occupied and the entire healthcare system teetering on a system collapse. Lack of immunizations stands out. Just two percent of Japan has received even just one vaccine dose, in stark contrast to rapid rollouts seen in the U.S. It is not just writers and other talking heads calling for cancellation, it is also Japan's citizens and athletes themselves. The Opening Ceremony is currently set for July 23 with more than 11,000 athletes scheduled to participate, not including coaches, support staff and media. There is also a Paralympics scheduled beginning August 24. Even with empty arenas, etc., it is still tens of thousands in the crosshairs of a still rampaging pandemic to create a worldwide super-spreader event. Since a cancellation would be unfortunate and heartbreaking for athletes, perhaps replacement events can be held. This is more than an 'abundance of caution' situation.
Tokyo is simply out of runway, hopefully the Land Of the Rising Sun will be awarded a future Summer Olympics in the not too distant future.