By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from NHK
July 14 2021
TOKYO – With the opening of the Olympic Games looming amid renewed fears of the spread of a new coronavirus, women with disabilities have issued a statement calling for the Tokyo Games to be cancelled, claiming that holding the Games would endanger their lives.
The statement calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics was issued by women with disabilities and their supporters at a press conference held online on July 7. The statement read:
“We sincerely hope that you will listen to our voices and not rush to hold the Games. We sincerely hope that you will take the wise decision to cancel the event and carry it out.”
The statement had been sent to the government and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).
At the conference, the four women who called for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics expressed their concern about the increased number of people who will be affected by the Games, saying that some people with disabilities or intractable diseases need 24-hour assistance and cannot avoid contact with other people, while others may become seriously ill or have their lives threatened if they become infected.
Etsuko Nakao, who suffers from a progressive intractable disease and needs assistance herself, said, “As the process of holding the Games gets into full swing, it may be late, but I think it’s important to let people know about our feelings and spread our voices by not giving up.