The Mainichi Shimbun answers some common questions readers may have about public holidays around the Tokyo Olympics.
Question: What was the final decision on moving public holidays due to the Tokyo Olympics?
Answer: The purpose of moving the holidays because of the Olympics has been to control traffic and to facilitate the security of important people. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were postponed for one year due to the spread of the coronavirus, and in November last year, it was decided to move the national holidays for 2021 just like they were for 2020.
Q: Which holidays will be moved?
A: Sports Day, Oct. 11, will be moved to July 23, the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, and Marine Day, July 19, will be shifted to July 22, the day before the ceremony. Mountain Day on Aug. 11 will be moved to Aug. 8 for the closing ceremony, but since it is a Sunday, the following day, Aug. 9, will be a substitute holiday.
Q: That's a lot of changes, isn't it?
A: In response to the postponement of the games, the organizing committee and others have been working to simplify things in order to both reduce costs and prevent infections. For example, they plan to reduce the number of games officials visiting Japan from overseas to up to half of the original number. And, the maximum number of spectators at each Olympic venue has been set at 10,000, with each site limited to no more than 50% of its capacity. However, there is still a possibility that there will be no spectators depending on coronavirus infection developments. Some people involved in the games questioned whether there was a need to move the public holidays after the change from the previous plan, but the decision stood.
Q: I see some calendars where holidays are still on their original days, why is that?
A: Calendars usually begin to be delivered at the end of October of the previous year, and production begins almost a year before that. The making of this year's calendars started about six months before the decision was made in March last year to postpone the Olympics. Therefore, many calendars from before the holidays were moved are still in circulation because they cannot be reprinted.
(Japanese original by Tadashi Murakami, Sports News Department)