Japan has been accused of covering up coronavirus cases to protect the Olympics, after a spike in Tokyo’s infection count following the postponement of the Games.
The Japanese government insisted for weeks that Tokyo 2020 would go ahead as planned, but finally gave in last week and postponed the Games until 2021.
Since then, Tokyo’s daily infection count has risen from 16 to 63.
Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama is among those voicing the suspicion that Tokyo’s numbers are rising because Japan now has no reason to hide them.
‘In order to make an impression that the city was taking control of the coronavirus, Tokyo avoided making strict requests and made the number of patients look smaller,’ the former PM alleged.
‘The coronavirus has spread while they waited. [For Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike] it was Olympics first, not Tokyo’s residents.
Current PM Shinzo Abe agreed to postpone the Games in a phone call with International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach last Tuesday.
A day later, governor Koike asked Tokyo residents to stay home at weekends until mid-April, saying cases had shot up to 41 in a day from 16 earlier in the week.
On Saturday, Tokyo reported 63 new cases, another single-day record.
The governor said that infections in Tokyo were on the brink of an explosive increase, and that stronger measures, including a lockdown, could be needed if the spread of the virus doesn’t slow.