The celebrity shared his reasoning in a YouTube video uploaded to London Boot’s channel.

The celebrity shared his reasoning in a YouTube video uploaded to London Boot’s channel. 
Though it may seem far away for those of us who aren’t involved, July 23, the postponed date for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is fast approaching, and the time for deciding whether or not the Olympics are to be held as planned, postponed again, or cancelled entirely is drawing near much too quickly.
While the the head of the organizing committee in Japan, Yoshiro Mori, has said that the Olympics will be held on schedule regardless of the state of the pandemic, not everyone agrees. Atsushi Tamura, for one, a Japanese comedian and a member of the comedy duo London Boots Ichi-go Ni-go, sincerely believes the games should be postponed. In fact, he believes it so strongly that he decided it was best to withdraw from running in the Olympic Torch Relay. 
— (@atsushilonboo) January 27, 2021
Tamura was nominated to be one of the many celebrities who would run a part of the Olympic Torch Relay, which was originally planned to run through all 47 prefectures of Japan so that its path would include many of Japan’s best tourist sites. The lengthy route would also give 100 percent of the population of Japan the ability to travel to a section of the relay within an hour from anywhere in the country, with the hope that everyone would come out to cheer on the official beginnings of the Olympic Games.
Obviously, since the virus spreads easily among large crowds, having hundreds of people crowd up together on the sidewalks to watch a runner go by isn’t exactly desirable, so the organizing committee, headed by Mori, has been discussing how to make it safer. One of the ideas that came up was to change the paths of the celebrity runners, who would probably draw more of crowd, to more rural areas, such as on roads that run through farmlands and rice paddies, where people are less likely to gather.
But Tamura, who was selected to run through the Inuyama Castle area of Inuyama City in Aichi Prefecture, has disagreed with this and many of the committee’s other ideas on the Olympics, and thus has officially withdrawn from the relay. In a video posted to London Boots’ official YouTube channel on the 3, he explained exactly why he decided not to bear the torch.
Wearing a formal-looking kimono and sitting on the floor in seiza style on his knees, Tamura explains that the reason behind his withdrawal wasn’t simply because he doesn’t think the games should happen on schedule; rather, he said that his decision to withdraw was a direct result of the organizing committee’s stances on the matter, specifically those of chairman Mori’s. “If you’re wondering why I came to this decision, it’s because I saw from interviews and reading articles that the Japan Olympic Committee’s Chairman Mori said that the Olympics will happen no matter the state of the pandemic, which I find impossible to understand.”
(Note that Tamura falsely says that Mori is the chairman of the Japan Olympic Committee, when in fact he is the chair of the organizing committee, which is noted as a correction in the description of the video.)
Tamura also disagrees with the idea that the celebrity runners should run through rural areas. “I don’t know if this was a joke or what, since Mr. Mori has always had a habit of saying things he shouldn’t, but I really cannot agree with his way of putting people down.” He went on to say that having celebrities run through farmlands is rude to the farmers, and besides, if they don’t want people to gather, celebrities shouldn’t be running in the first place.
“I gave it a lot of thought,” he said. “But if there’s no good reason to have people gather on the roadsides, then I felt that, as a celebrity, I should step down from running, and since I didn’t want to cause anyone any trouble, I decided to withdraw from the torch relay, although I am very grateful that the people of Inuyama City chose to nominate me to be their runner.”
He also addresses the inevitable complainer who would say that he didn’t have to make a video out of it, that he could have just kept it private. He says that he decided to make a video because he wanted to express his own personal reasons for the withdrawal, without having them skewed in some way by someone else reporting it. “That’s what I think is the best thing about YouTube,” he said.
He finishes off the video by saying it is his sincere hope the Olympics will happen in Tokyo someday, but he believes ending the pandemic as soon as possible is more important, for the sake of healthcare and frontline workers and citizens who are at their limits.
Japanese comments on the video were overall positive, with many agreeing with Tamura’s opinions:
“I live in Inuyama, but I understand that a lot has happened and that this is the way things are, so it can’t be helped. The fact that you came on here with such a sincere attitude and even brought up Inuyama City by name left a deep impression on me.”“No matter how you look at it, doing it this year would be impossible. I completely agree with you.”“I honestly thought, ‘Is that it?’ But I actually do agree with your choice. Thanks for making such a courageous decision!”“I’m glad that we live in a world where celebrities can use YouTube to share their unedited opinions about things.”
The Olympic Torch Relay already technically began in Greece last year with the lighting of the Olympic Torch, but after it arrived in Japan, the Olympics and Relay were postponed, so the torch has been on display in various locations while it waits to be relayed to its final destination in the New National Stadium in Tokyo. The postponed relay is scheduled to begin on March 21, assuming the Olympics aren’t cancelled or postponed again, but with one major celebrity dropping out, many more might, too, so at this point, who knows what’s going to happen?
Source: Kyodo, YouTube/ via Otacom, Daily, Tokyo2020.orgImages: YouTube/ Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!