Why the Tokyo Olympics will be Japan’s ‘economic recovery’ games

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed due to Covid-19, will finally open on July 23 – with the Paralympics following from August 24 – although the organising committee has decided there will be no foreign fans and volunteers.

This is not the first time Japan has experienced Olympic disruption. The 1940 Tokyo Olympics were a non-event, overshadowed by the war with China and World War II.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games of 1964 symbolised Japan’s dramatic recovery from war, fuelled its subsequent economic growth and empowered the Japanese people to become contributing members of global society.

The Japanese government had expected long-lasting social, economic and cultural benefits from the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the events had been billed as the “recovery games”, as the authorities wished to showcase Japan’s resilience and reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The term has since taken on a second meaning.

- South China Morning Post