Toyota to skip opening ceremony

Moscow, Jul 19 (Agency) Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, will not attend the opening ceremony of the event on July 23, the Kyodo news agency reported on Monday. Earlier in the day, Toyota confirmed that it would cancel Olympics-related TV ads. Kyodo suggests the carmaker was motivated by a potential blow to its reputation, as the latest polls show Japanese are worried about the games being held amid the pandemic. Various polls show that people are concerned the Olympics could provoke a sharp rise in new infections, given that there has been increase in new cases in Tokyo and nearby prefectures over the past several weeks.

Since mid-July, Tokyo has been subject to its fourth state of emergency over COVID-19, which will last until August 22, including the entire period of the Games. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, due to begin this Friday and last through August 8, were initially scheduled for 2020 but were postponed in the spring of last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s event is due to be held under harsh restrictions put in place to ensure safety, including the lack of spectators on almost every Olympic venue.