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The IOC and government in Tokyo have failed to bully Japan’s people into submission

Host populations usually anticipate the Olympics eagerly—but not this time

By Lesley Downer   July 2021

Photo: Cezary Kowalski / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

The Olympic torch set off on 25th March from Fukushima for its 121-day journey through Japan’s 47 prefectures, and will be carried by 10,000 runners before it reaches its Tokyo destination. But there’s so much disaffection around these games that when it passed through one neighbourhood in Nara, a resident reported, nobody  watched. Indeed, as the weeks tick down to the intended opening on 23rd July, no one is sure whether they will proceed. 

Almost every day brings new pressure on the government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to call the games off. On 26th May, the…

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