Anti-Olympics petition delivered with 350,000 signatures
A petition calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympic Games was submitted to the organisers at the end of last week having secured 350,000 signatures.
The campaign was launched by Japanese lawyer and activist Kenji Utsonomiya amid concerns over proceeding with the games amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It garnered well over 300,000 supporters in nine days.
The petition was submitted to the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike on Friday.
In light of rising Covid-19 cases, the Tokyo region remains under a state of emergency that has been extended to the end of May.
Speaking at a press conference, Utsonomiya, the head of the ‘Stop Tokyo Olympics’ campaign, claimed the Olympics, already postponed from last year because of the pandemic, should only be held when Japan can fully welcome competitors and other visitors.
He said: "We are not in that situation and therefore the games should be cancelled. Precious medical resources would need to be diverted to the Olympics if it's held."
Despite the petition and polls showing a majority of Japanese citizens to be against the Olympics going ahead in Tokyo this year, the IOC and the local organisers have insisted that they can be held safely.
The IOC said last Wednesday that it was “moving fully ahead” with the games.
The Tokyo Olympics are due to take place from 23 July to 8 August, with the Paralympics, also held over from last year, to follow, from 24 August to 5 September.