Speaking Of Asia

After WEF pulls S'pore meeting, time for Japan to read writing on the wall for Olympic Games

Prime Minister Suga is in a terrible bind but the Olympic Games cannot go ahead

Pressure is growing on the Yoshihide Suga government to cancel the Tokyo Olympic Games. PHOTO: AFP
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Who would not feel sorry for Japan. For years it spent a good part of its public diplomacy budget on wooing tourists and business from China, with laudable success. Now, a virus that was first identified in China, and associated mutants initially spotted in Britain, South Africa, Brazil, and most recently India, are prolonging the spread and have laid low its economy.

First quarter growth numbers published on Tuesday are dismal. The economy shrank an annualised 5.1 per cent from the prior quarter in the three months through March, ending a two-quarter streak of double-digit growth. That's worse than expected; economists had forecast a 4.5 per cent contraction.

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