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A Change.org petition to garner votes to cancel the Tokyo Olympic Games due to fears for safety around the COVID-19 pandemic was submitted to the organisers of the Games. The threshold was reached in nine days.

The campaign organiser is the former Tokyo Governor candidate Kenji Utsunomiya. The petition was also submitted to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Games organisers have said that cancelling the Games at this point will be too costly.

IOC President Thomas Bach delayed his arrival in Tokyo last week amid a growing number of Japanese citizens polled have indicated that they do not want the Olympic Games to go forward this summer.

The City of Tokyo and three prefectures in January asked the Japanese government to declare a state of emergency due to the pandemic.

At that time, Economic Revitalisation Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, “We agreed that we are in a severe situation that warrants us considering the declaration of a state of emergency.”

However, organisers of the games have test events including road races in Sapporo, diving test even in Tokyo and a track meet at the Tokyo Stadium with success.

Japan currently sits 37th globally in the total number of cases to date at 677,988. The country also has nearly the lowest number of cases per capita in the world at 5,375 per one-million population. Additionally, the death rate at 91 per one-million is also one of the lower rates in the world.