China to continue supporting Japan to ‘host successful Olympics’: expert

By Sun Haoran Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/25 18:28:40

A mother takes a photo of her child posing next to an Olympic rings monument in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

Japan has decided to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, but an expert said that China will always support Japan in "successfully hosting the event," and the two countries' exchanges in sports have played a positive role in promoting bilateral relations.

The postponement came after heavy pressure from athletes around the world and followed an admission from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that a delay was now "inevitable."

Abe said that the delayed event - still to be called Tokyo 2020 - will now be a "testament to mankind's defeat of the new virus," but did not specify when the rescheduled Games will take place, AFP noted.

Japan on Wednesday started the unprecedented task of reorganizing the Tokyo Olympic Games after the historic decision to postpone the world's biggest sporting event due to the coronavirus pandemic that has locked down one third of the planet, AFP reported.

The dramatic decision to shift Tokyo 2020 to next year has never been seen before in peacetime, and the postponement upends every aspect of organization - including venues, security, ticketing and accommodation, said AFP.

Japan's media and athletes reacted with disappointment on Wednesday, but expressed relief the Games had not been cancelled altogether over the coronavirus pandemic.

Geng Xin, a senior TV commentator based in Hong Kong who has also had roughly 30 years' experience living in Japan, talked about his views on the postponement and the Olympics' significance to China-Japan relations to the Global Times on Wednesday.

The Japanese people have a special feeling for the Olympics. The 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games were regarded by Japan as a symbol of coming out of the shadow of defeat in the World War II. During the economic boom after the 1964 Olympics, Japan rapidly became the world's second largest economy in the capitalist world after the US, said Geng.

China has always been positive toward Japan's hosting of the Olympic Games. The Chinese believe that the Olympic Games are peaceful activities that are beneficial to all mankind. In the 1960s and 1970s, cooperation between China and Japan in the field of sports played an important role in the two countries' people-to-people exchanges, particularly in the areas of women's volleyball, table tennis and go.

He noted that when the People's Republic of China was blocked by the Western world in the early days of its founding, the Japanese sports industry held exchanges with China and provided valuable help, which promoted the development of Chinese sports and allowed it to go to the world.

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, although some Western leaders explicitly proposed boycotting the event because of issues such as "human rights" and "Tibet," the then Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda actively expressed his willingness to participate in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Japan also ensured the torch relay held in Kumamoto, Japan, was successful.

Geng added that when the International Olympic Committee voted on which city would host the 2020 Summer Olympics in 2013, the Chinese side still voted for Tokyo despite China-Japan relations being at their lowest due to the Diaoyu Islands dispute, to show China's support for Japan's hosting of the event.

The history of China-Japan exchanges in the field of sports demonstrates that the Olympic Games is a peaceful, grand event for mankind and a sign of friendship between China and Japan. Both Chinese and Japanese people love peace and sports. The Tokyo Olympic Games coincides with the start of a new era in China-Japan relations, which Geng believes will not be changed by the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

Geng noted that the pandemic will instead promote the peoples of the two countries to "stand with each other and overcome the difficulties." China will, as always, support Japan to successfully host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite the postponement. China will bring in a considerable number of athletes, viewers and corporate sponsors for the event, which will not only enhance China-Japan cooperation in sports, but also improve the two countries' relations in general.


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