Tokyo 2020 Corporate Sponsors Cancel Booths, Parties over Delays

Japanese Olympic sponsors are canceling or reducing booths and promotional activities related to the Tokyo 2020 Games, citing organizers’ “very last-minute” choices and a delay on whether spectators would be allowed.

More than a dozen corporations, including Canon, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, and Ajinomoto, have taken steps to distance themselves from a Games that is now beset by the COVID-19 outbreak and widespread public opposition.

They have been frustrated by what one source described as “impromptu” decisions made by organizers, particularly the months-long delay in deciding whether spectators would be permitted.

A source said that they are finally making decisions independently, without waiting for the organizers’ cue.

“It’s a ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ situation for sponsors, but everyone is starting to take action,” one source, an employee at one sponsor, who refused to be identified, told Reuters.

The Olympics organizers said on Thursday that it would take place without the spectators in the host city Tokyo amid the COVID-19 emergency.

“It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said.

“I am sorry for those who purchased a ticket,” he added.

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