Japanese official chokes up over ticket cancellations
Written by tokyoclub on July 10, 2021
A Japanese official choked up with tears on Friday as he apologized for the cancellation of Olympic tickets, a moment that crystallized the country’s pain at seeing the Tokyo 2020 Games overshadowed by a worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
The display of emotion from Hidenori Suzuki, the official in charge of ticket sales for Tokyo 2020, came a day after organizers bowed to political pressure and rising infections in the capital, barring almost all fans from the Games just two weeks before they are due to start.
Two visiting Olympic delegation members tested positive for COVID-19, media said on Friday, in a reminder of the risk as infections rise in the capital.
“We’ve done all we could to meet the expectations of those who had bought the tickets and I feel a deep sense of pain,” Suzuki told a briefing on the ticket cancellation procedures.
He fought back tears and paused in his speech when he was asked about the feelings of staff at the organizing team following the decision to ban spectators.
Without spectators, Japan is now all but deprived of its hopes for Games with pomp and public spectacle. The government and organizers had long seen the event as a chance to display the country’s recovery from a devastating 2011 earthquake and nuclear crisis.