This was somewhat feared given the current sanitary situation in Japan, but the axe has eventually fallen: the 2021 Olympic Games, initially planned in 2020 and postponed because of the pandemic, will be held in Tokyo, Japan, without any people in the stands. No people, no fans coming from any single part of the world to support their athletes, this is the price to pay to have the right to see the worldwide event take place.
People could wonder why such a decision in a world that gets vaccinated each day a little more and where the pandemic seems to be mastered, with tourists travelling again, restaurants and bars opening again and curfews coming to an end. The situation is much more complicated still, due to the proliferation of the Delta variant and difficulties to push the vaccination further. But why not a few fans at least, since the Euro 2020 of football won by Italy or the NBA finals are being played with some people in the stands? In Japan, testing and vaccinating people takes more time, and the country is currently facing a lack of vaccines: the shortage has become a real issue for the locals. In such a context, bringing thousands of fans in Japan and setting up sanitary structures for them, while Japanese are missing them, would be difficult to understand. Sports before the local population? Hard to justify indeed.
This return of the sanitary state of emergency in Japan may disappoint the fans, who do not consider the Olympic Games without anyone in the stadiums, but again, it has to be put in perspective; the rise of positive cases in Japan is worrying enough for the country in its struggle against the coronavirus disease, and forgetting about that because it is the OG could lead to disastrous aftermath for Japan and its people.