National Representative: Tomoko Otani (Japan)

1) Press Conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan Yoshiko Maeda
Former president of the Japan Women’s Medical Association, and Masami Aoki, director of the Japan Women’s Medical Association, along with Akiko Matsuo, one of the callers of Flower Demonstration (Following the acquittal of a man for sexual assault in March 2019, M Kitahara, A Matsuo called a flower demonstration for a gathering of people to bring flowers as a symbol to raise the voice of #WithYou in support of the victims. On that day, more than 450 people gathered at Tokyo Station.), held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan calling for the cancellation of the Olympic Games on July 12th.

Purpose of the press conference: We strongly call for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics because the lives and livelihoods of women living in Japanese society today are at stake. Covid-19 pandemic has blatantly revealed the harsh reality that Japanese women were subjected to on a daily basis. Many essential workers lost their jobs due to pandemic. Most of the essential workers are women. Many of the workers in the service industry, such as restaurants and hotels, are non-regularly employed women. In the absence of adequate benefits, more and more women are losing their homes as soon as they lose their jobs. What is most cruel is that the number of women who choose to die has doubled since before pandemic. The medical field has already collapsed. In Japan, a number of people are now dying at home from severe coronavirus infections because they cannot be hospitalized. 70% of medical workers are women, and the overwhelming majority of nurses are women. Experts have repeatedly raised concerns about the Tokyo Olympics being held in the midst of pandemic. With the spread of the delta strain, the possibility of a new mutation occurring at the Tokyo Olympics is undeniable. After the Tokyo Olympics, what Tokyo will be left with is another pandemic that will continue for a long time. Why do we have to choose the Tokyo Olympics in exchange for our precious lives?

Press Conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on July 12th. From left to right: Yoshiko Maeda (former President of JMWA), Masami Aoki (board of director of JMWA), Akiko Matsuo (Flower demonstration).

2) COVID-19 status in Japan Japan hosted the Olympics for 16 days from July 23 to August 8 amidst the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of infections in Japan was 4225 at the opening ceremony, but more than tripled to 14468 at the closing ceremony. The number of infected people reaching a record high of 25876 on August 20. As of 9/26, the cumulative number of infected people in Japan is 1694765, and the number of deaths is 17486. The rapid increase in the number of infected patients has led to an increase in the number of patients who cannot be hospitalized, and the number of patients waiting at home who cannot receive treatment peaked at 231596 on Aug. 29. Thus, more than 72 people are said to have died at home during August. The sixth wave of infection is expected to start around December, and it is urgent to rebuild the medical system.

Trends in the number of new coronavirus infections in Japan, with the last peak in the fifth wave thought to be caused by increased human flow due to the Olympics.