Tensions rise as COVID-19 infections increase ahead of Tokyo games


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The world is less than three weeks from the Olympics in Tokyo. But as cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, many people living there are angry the games are still on. 

A new video shows a 53-year-old woman protesting the Olympic torch relay by shooting a water pistol, and shouting “extinguish the torch fire. I’m against the Olympics. That woman was later arrested, but public opposition has been widespread. 

And while Japan has made progress to vaccinate its population, the drive is losing steam because of a supply shortage. Just 13.8% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cases of the virus in Tokyo have been rising for the last 16 days. The city confirmed 342 new cases on Monday alone. 

The games, once promoted as an extravaganza to showcase Japan to the world, appear in danger of taking place largely without spectators. A local newspaper reports the government is further reducing the number of people allowed at the opening ceremony.

Events at large venues and late-night events would also be held without fans. Because of the pandemic, spectators from overseas have already been banned and a cap of 50% capacity was set.

NewsNation journalist, Justin Surrency, who will be in attendance for the games says, according to a Japanese report, about 60% of the country wants the games to be either canceled or postponed

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