Table tennis stars, Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori, who are set to be two of Japan’s leading figures at the Tokyo Olympics have expressed concerns on whether the Games should be held this year or not.
The Tokyo Games which was originally scheduled for 2020, was rescheduled to July 23 until August 8 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Osaka is excited about the games as she is an athlete, she said the Games taking place this year should be put up for discussion as it could put a lot of people at risk. Nishikori also said the Italian Open and the Tokyo Olympics cannot be compared as the two tournaments are different in terms of population. He added that more than 10,000 athletes are expected to compete at the Olympics which is a greater risk.
The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have announced several health and safety restrictions, including banning international fans from travelling to Japan.
However, there are still states of emergencies in several Japan regions including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo, until May 31.
Speaking at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Nishikori was asked if he held the same opinion as Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, who on Sunday said there needed to be more discussion about the issue.
“I will say kinda same, because I don’t know anything [about] what’s happening inside of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Japan side,” Nishikori said.