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IOC treating Japan 'like its colony': opposition party leader slams executives

Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii slammed a series of comments from International Olympic Committee (IOC) executives rejecting the possibility of canceling the Tokyo Games, saying that they are "treating Japan like a colony of the IOC empire."

    The opposition party leader's anger came following IOC Vice President John Coates's remark that the Tokyo Olympics would go ahead even if Japan was under a coronavirus state of emergency. Furthermore, in an interview with Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, which hit the stands on May 27, the IOC's longest-serving member Dick Pound of Canada insisted that even if Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wanted the games to be canceled, it would be nothing but a personal opinion, and that the games would go ahead.

    Speaking at a news conference on the same day, Shii said, "Those comments are out of line and we cannot overlook them. ... They indicate that holding the Olympics has priority over Japanese people's lives." He condemned the IOC, saying, "Who on earth do they think they are? What gives them the authority to say such things? Those comments could lead to an infringement on Japan's sovereignty."

    (Japanese original by Shu Furukawa, Political News Department)

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