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Tokyo Olympics: Thousands sign petition for cancellation

An online petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled has gained tens of thousands of signatures since being launched in Japan just days ago.

The rollout of the petition comes with Tokyo, Osaka and several other areas under a state of emergency with coronavirus infections rising.

The state of emergency is to expire on May 11, but some reports in Japan say it is likely to be extended.

The postponed Olympics are to open in just under three months, on July 23.

The petition is addressed to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who has tentative plans to visit Japan later this month.

He is expected to meet the Olympic torch relay on May 17 in Hiroshima, and could also travel to Tokyo, where small anti-Olympic protests are being planned.

Although 70-to-80% of Japanese citizens in polls say they want the Olympics cancelled or postponed, there is no indication this will happen.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto, and IOC chief, Bach, have repeatedly said the games will go on as planned.

Last week, organisers and the IOC unveiled so-called Playbooks, explaining rules for athletes and others to show how the Olympics can be held in the middle of a pandemic.

Several test events have been conducted in the last few days, and organisers have reported few problems.

The Olympic torch relay has been crisscrossing Japan for a month. Organisers say that eight people working on the relay have tested positive for the virus.

Japan has spent billions of Dollars preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, which should have held last year, and For the IOC, the games represent a whopping 73% of its income.

ABC News

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