Toyota to Cancel It’s Tokyo Olympics 2020 Ads After Growing Virus Concerns in Japan

Published 07/19/2021, 5:43 AM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 25: A boat sails past the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Rings on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Following yesterdays announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, IOC officials have said they hope to confirm a new Olympics date as soon as possible. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is now only days away but controversies continue to plague what is to be the world’s biggest sporting event. From diplomatic hassles to a number of high profile organizers stepping down, there seems to be no end to the hiccups.


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But undoubtedly the biggest concern regarding the upcoming Olympic games is the raging pandemic. COVID-19 continues to be a major headache for organizers.

The organizers are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to ensure that the games are carried out in a safe environment for players and coaches. But even then, the citizens of Japan are not too keen about the Tokyo Olympics taking place.


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Tokyo Olympics 2020 runs into yet another controversy

The people of Japan have been rather vocal regarding their discontent about the Tokyo Olympics taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staging protests, many have said they will boycott the games altogether. And this growing resentment seems to have struck a nerve with one of the games’ key sponsors, Toyota.

The multinational Japanese automotive manufacturer said that it will not run any Olympics-related TV commercials in Japan. The company had a full-fledged ad campaign in place for the games.

According to a statement released by Toyota Motor North America, “The media plan for Toyota’s Olympic and Paralympic global ad campaign is managed by individual countries and regions. In Japan, the local Toyota office previously decided not to air the campaign out of sensitivity to the COVID-19 situation in that country. In the U.S., the campaign has already been shown nationally and will continue to be shown as planned with our media partners during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

Further, a spokesperson confirmed that the company’s Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda and other top executives will not be attending the games’ opening ceremony.


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“It is true that Toyota will not be attending the opening ceremony. The decision was made considering various factors including no spectators. We will not be airing any commercials related to the Games in Japan,” a report by Reuters read.


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The growing concerns among the public isn’t far-fetched. Despite the organizers’ best efforts, COVID has made its way into the Olympics village.

Tokyo 2020 Games Delivery Officer Hidemasa Nakamura, President Seiko Hashimoto and CEO Toshiro Muto attend a meeting. The meeting was held at the headquarters in Tokyo, Japan July 13, 2021. Takashi Aoyama/Pool via REUTERS

On July 18, the first case of COVID-19 was reported at the Olympics village. And so far, the organizers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.


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Pulling off the Tokyo Olympics requires a monumental effort. And while the organizers are trying their best to limit the spread of the virus, it seems likely that more infections are set to occur given the nature of the virus.


Shivayan Roy

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Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.



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