Preparations for the Summer Olympics

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 16, 2006
4,897
There
An update on the broadcasting side of things: I emailed my contacts at the OBS a few days ago to ask what if any contingencies might be in place for us commentators. The short answer is that we're still planning to report to Tokyo as per our original schedule - as I suspected, they don't have the ability to facilitate commentators working from home, but they're not planning on having us arrive two weeks early to quarantine as such either. Instead, the basic idea is that we'll all need to be particularly careful to quasi-quarantine at home for the two weeks before we fly over and then get proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of our first departing flight. Once we're in Japan, we're not supposed to use any public transportation without permission, keep at least one meter from other co-workers at all times, avoid enclosed spaces and crowds where possible, and so on. We also need to make sure we have access to enough face masks to last throughout our stay in Japan, which could be quite a few given the heat and humidity likely to in place. I've been sent the link to a 36-page "Playbook" for broadcasters, and other similar documentation for different types of workers heading to Tokyo, and basically, I don't think I'm going to have any sort of touristy experiences while I'm there - or really, much fun at all - but it certainly feels like the Games are going ahead.
That all sounds kind of sucky for you, sorry. Are you still expected to go to Sendai for the opening rounds of baseball/softball, then back down here for the later rounds? How do they propose you get around - will they be putting you up near venues, and shuttling you to/from?

re masks - I assume you'll just pack a ton of them but don't sweat that too much, they are available everywhere here.
 
That all sounds kind of sucky for you, sorry. Are you still expected to go to Sendai for the opening rounds of baseball/softball, then back down here for the later rounds? How do they propose you get around - will they be putting you up near venues, and shuttling you to/from?
I'm calling all of my games from the International Broadcast Centre - as far as I know, I won't get to attend any games in person. (I was hoping to be able to do so on one or more of my off days, but somehow I doubt that will be encouraged under the COVID protocols.) So yeah, this isn't exactly going to be a dream Olympic assignment for me.
 

Red Averages

owes you $50
SoSH Member
Apr 20, 2003
6,496
Maybe worth updating the thread title?

Japan considers to hold Tokyo Olympics with 50% capacity

Japan is considering limiting spectators for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics to 50 percent of venue capacity due to risks posed by the spread of Covid-19.

For large venues the limit for spectators could be set at 20,000, but more people may be allowed if the pandemic situation improves, the Sankei newspaper reported.

Japan's organising committee will announce its decision next month and is expected to comply with domestic regulations, the newspaper said, citing sources it did not named in the government and on the committee.

Meanwhile the government is leaning towards ending a state of emergency for Tokyo and surrounding areas over as scheduled on March 21.

The government is expected to make its decision at a meeting with advisers on March 18, the newspaper reported. Calls to the prime minister's office were not answered.
I still think the symbolic gesture of holding the Olympics this summer will go a long way towards bringing back some global unity as we move beyond COVID this summer for most developed nations.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.trtworld.com/life/russia-s-daily-coronavirus-cases-top-10-000-again-latest-updates-44985/amp
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Japan won’t be allowing foreign spectators. (Not sure if that just means paying fans, or if national team officials and other non-competitors will also be excluded.) Capacity limits for domestic spectators will be announced next month.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/spectators-from-overseas-to-be-barred-from-tokyo-olympics-11616241099?st=ri9x9cy1q88ju3i&reflink=article_copyURL_share
I'm pretty sure it means "paying fans", insofar as there are way too many non-Japanese workers involved in organizing and staging and broadcasting the Games - like me - who couldn't realistically be replaced at this late date. I'm sure Japan would feel infinitely more comfortable tracking and tracing only those of us coming to Japan in an official capacity than having to deal with any number of people arriving purely as spectators and feeling free to roam wherever and do whatever they like.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
24,695
right here
Just shut it down already.

Japan's central government has declared a third state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic with new restrictions imposed in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures. Local leaders requested the move as they face a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases.

The declaration comes as Tokyo prepares to host the Summer Olympics, slated to begin in July, and just before Japan enters one of its biggest holiday seasons, Golden Week, in late April.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
38,435
Has Comcast/NBC put out a channel guide for this yet? Is it same as 2016, or even more coverage/channels?
 

HriniakPosterChild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 6, 2006
14,840
500 feet above Lake Sammammish
Olympic officials are determined to have a Tokyo Games despite Japan’s growing doubts
Bach’s comments provoked a howl of protest on Japanese social media. His rhetoric ignored the fact that most people here simply don’t want the Games to go ahead — and don’t see why they need to be subjected to adversity at the IOC’s behest.

The meticulous planning, meanwhile, has one potentially fatal flaw: Japan’s already overloaded health system can’t cope with the additional demands the Games will bring without putting more lives at risk, doctors and nurses say.
 

Nick Kaufman

protector of human kind from spoilers
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2003
12,117
A Lost Time
FWIW, a quick google search revealed that they are indeed going to be vaccinating all the foreign delegations:
Pfizer and its partner, Germany's BioNTech, announced Thursday that they have agreed to donate vaccines to competitors and staff at the Tokyo Games, set to be held this summer despite ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the pharmaceutical companies said that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Olympic Committee outlining the delivery of initial vaccine doses "expected to begin at the end of May where possible with the aim to ensure participating delegations receive second doses ahead of arrivals in Tokyo."

In its own statement, the IOC said it would work with national Olympic committees to distribute the vaccines, but said many national governments were already vaccinating participants.

"It is expected that a significant proportion of Games participants will have been vaccinated before arriving in Japan," the IOC said.
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/06/994228843/pfizer-to-vaccinate-olympic-athletes-as-japan-mulls-extending-pandemic-restricti?t=1620609329306
 

Nick Kaufman

protector of human kind from spoilers
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2003
12,117
A Lost Time
The article later said that 80% of the locals don't want the games to go ahead. Apparently, Japan went through another major lockdown while another quick google search revealed that they had vaccinated only 1% of the population. It does look like they are building the infrastructure to ramp up the pace.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Here’s an article on the legal landscape. It probably understates the ability of Japan to give the IOC the finger, so long as it doesn’t care about hosting a future Olympics.

https://sports.yahoo.com/who-has-the-power-to-cancel-the-tokyo-olympics-163052964.html

Forced to lay even money on one side or the other, I’d bet on the games not happening, but anyone who says it’s a certainty one way or the other is selling something.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
38,435
It's clear that Tokyo doesn't want them; it's clear that the IOC does want them and the athletes want to compete. Why not be adults about it and bilaterally try to move them to a willing host (assuming Istanbul and Madrid don't want them), say Moscow, that has the facilities to hold them?
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
54,925
Forced to lay even money on one side or the other, I’d bet on the games not happening, but anyone who says it’s a certainty one way or the other is selling something.
Disagree, I am a longtime Olympics hater because of the adverse longterm financial impact on every host city and so I wish it was canceled, but I have been following this closely as my wife is Japanese and was a lifelong resident of Tokyo and my brother and sister in law work for NBC Sports (and the SIL is going to these to work). These Games will definitely happen, the Japanese government will not cancel them and end up paying billions for doing so, and of course the IOC doesn’t give a shit. I am not a betting man but if I was, I would bet anything that these will go on as currently scheduled.
 

Nick Kaufman

protector of human kind from spoilers
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2003
12,117
A Lost Time
It's clear that Tokyo doesn't want them; it's clear that the IOC does want them and the athletes want to compete. Why not be adults about it and bilaterally try to move them to a willing host (assuming Istanbul and Madrid don't want them), say Moscow, that has the facilities to hold them?
My opinion on this is, as per usual, fuck Putin.
 
It's clear that Tokyo doesn't want them; it's clear that the IOC does want them and the athletes want to compete. Why not be adults about it and bilaterally try to move them to a willing host (assuming Istanbul and Madrid don't want them), say Moscow, that has the facilities to hold them?
How easy do you think that would be? I mean, as you may know I'm supposed to be commentating on the baseball and softball tournaments at the Olympics this summer. Ignoring the likely lack of baseball and softball stadiums in Moscow or many other possible alternative cities, how easy would it be to build or repurpose a new International Broadcast Center for me and my colleagues and make sure that all of the connections are routed and tested as they should be? Or for that matter, to source accommodation and new flight arrangements for me and my colleagues? And we're but one tiny cog in a massive logistical enterprise.
These Games will definitely happen, the Japanese government will not cancel them and end up paying billions for doing so, and of course the IOC doesn’t give a shit. I am not a betting man but if I was, I would bet anything that these will go on as currently scheduled.
I'm now convinced that this is the correct take. The only possible alternative I can see would be another one-year postponement; despite the IOC's protestations that another postponement cannot happen, that still seems at least plausible to me given that the 2022 World Cup will be in the winter. But absolutely nobody is giving voice to that alternative, so I think we're going forward. (That said, until I have an airline ticket in my possession, I'm not counting any chickens...)
 

mpjc

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
1,871
These Games will definitely happen, the Japanese government will not cancel them and end up paying billions for doing so, and of course the IOC doesn’t give a shit. I am not a betting man but if I was, I would bet anything that these will go on as currently scheduled.
This has been my take too, but I'm wondering if this new US State Dept. Level 4 categorization makes it easier for Tokyo to act ...
 
Last edited:

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
23,088
Osaka hospitals having tough time right now: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/no-ones-safe-anymore-japans-osaka-city-crumples-under-covid-19-onslaught-2021-05-24/
By Thursday, 96% of the 348 hospital beds Osaka reserves for serious virus cases were in use. Since March, 17 people have died from the disease outside the prefecture's hospitals, officials said this month.
The variant can make even young people very sick quickly, and once seriously ill, patients find it tough to make a recovery, said Toshiaki Minami, director of the Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University Hospital (OMPUH).
"I believe that until now many young people thought they were invincible. But that can't be the case this time around. Everyone is equally bearing the risk."
BREAKING POINT
Minami said a supplier recently told him that stocks of propofol, a key drug used to sedate intubated patients, are running very low, while Tohda's hospital is running short of the ventilators vital for severely ill COVID-19 patients.
Caring for critically ill patients in the face of infection risk has taken a serious toll on staff, said Satsuki Nakayama, the head of the nursing department at OMPUH.
"I've got some intensive care unit (ICU) staff saying they have reached a breaking point," she added. "I need to think of personnel change to bring in people from other hospital wings."
About 500 doctors and 950 nurses work at OMPUH, which manages 832 beds. Ten of its 16 ICU beds have been dedicated to virus patients. Twenty of the roughly 140 serious patients taken in by the hospital died in the ICU.
 
I just received an email from the OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services) saying that as of tomorrow morning, the UK has been added to the list of Japan's restricted territories with regard to entering the country. No idea what that means for my potential trip to Tokyo, but it certainly doesn't sound great! (The email I received said, "We are working together with Tokyo 2020 and the IOC for them to discuss with the Japanese authorities the impact of this decision," and included an anonymous survey for me to complete regarding my vaccination status.)