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Could the 2021 Olympics bankrupt Japan if they cancel the games? Learn what financial hit the country could take and what the people of Japan think.

Will the 2021 Summer Olympics bankrupt Japan if they cancel them?

The 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan is, so far as we know, still happening. Whether or not it’s a good idea to let it still take place is definitely up for debate. Sure! The world is slowly opening back up in an attempt to get “back to normal” following the COVID pandemic. But, even so, we still need to be cautious about things, you know? Even in 2021, the Olympics seem like a not great idea.

People in Japan seem in favor of just bailing on the 2021 Summer Olympics. One of the biggest newspapers in Japan, Asahi Shimbun has called for the Olympics to be cancelled. The article from the paper said that it was reckless & irresponsible for Japan to host the games this year. The country has struggled with getting COVID-19 under control so to speak.

But the Olympics are also a big money sinkhole. The countries that host them put a lot into hosting them. So if the games are somehow cancelled before July 2021, when they are set to start, how could that negatively affect Japan if they decide to cancel the 2021 Olympics? Could we have a 2022 Olympics? Here’s everything that we know. 

Could Japan cancel the 2021 Olympics?

Right now, it certainly looks like the Japanese government is not planning on cancelling the 2021 Olympics. As far as we know, the games will begin as scheduled in the later half of July. But, there are some safety measures in place in deference to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether or not they’re good? We’ll leave that for you to decide. Currently, foreign fans are barred from attending the Olympics.

Domestic fans, however, could be allowed to attend, if it’s allowed. Currently, Tokyo, where the Olympics are set to be held, and much of the rest of Japan is under a state of emergency due to COVID-19. According to a Financial Times report, there’ll be a lot of financial consequences for Japan if they had to refund billions of yen back to ticket holders for the games.

It’s a lot of money

According to the article, taxpayers in Japan would need to pay a bailout of $800 million USD for the heavily subsidized Olympic games. There will also be a massive budget shortfall to contend with on top of the refunds & bailout. Again, despite about 300 to 400 new cases of COVID appearing in the country per day, the organizers are hoping for a full capacity stadium of domestic fans.

At a G7 summit meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said about the 2021 Olympics, “Taking into account the level of COVID-19 infections, we’ll decide [on capacity] in accordance with the numbers allowed at other sporting events.” Even if domestic fans are allowed in? Would people even want to go? Because, oh boy, the Japanese do not want this to happen.

In May, a poll said that 40 percent of Japanese citizens think that the Olympics should be postponed again. While 43 percent believed that it should be cancelled. As for spectators? 59 percent say that no spectators should be allowed into the stadiums while 33 percent say that limited capacity. Three percent said that it should be at full capacity. One in five Japanese adults have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. 


As we said previously, human lives should always count more than games. Games are games. They can be redone, but lives are precious and we only have one of them. Athletes should not be made to compete in an international competition where they aren’t safe. Ultimately, they should probably force the issue and withdraw from the competition. 

More importantly, if the people of the country that the 2021 Olympics are hosted in don’t want them happening right now, then it probably shouldn’t happen. Instead, the energy should be on getting these people the vaccines that they need

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