Tokyo 2020 Sponsor Toyota will not make an Olympic TV announcement at the Games or send the director to the opening ceremony, an official told AFP on Monday that the events hit by the coronavirus are fighting for public support. The world’s largest automaker is the main sponsor of Tokyo 2020, which has faced constant opposition in Japan and will be held mostly uninhabited as Covid-19 cases rise in the capital. “Toyota officials will not attend the opening ceremony, and the main reason behind this will not be the audience,” Toyota spokesman Shiori Hashimoto told AFP.
According to Japanese media, less than 1,000 Olympic and VIP officials will be able to watch the opening ceremony on Friday.
Hashimoto denied reports from several local media outlets that Toyota had suspended plans to place TV commercials related to the Olympics in Japan.
“It was never intended to air ads related to the Olympics for promotional purposes in Japan,” he said.
About 60 Japanese companies have registered $ 3.320 billion for Tokyo 2020, with major sponsors like Toyota up for $ 500 million.
It has softened expectations for the audience to be Bonanza for marketing, even if they can expect international media exposure.
Earlier Monday, Jun Nagata, head of Operation Toyota, told reporters that it was more difficult for the Olympics to reach a positive deal with the Japanese public.
“It’s becoming an Olympics that can’t be understood by people in many ways,” Nagata told Japanese media in comments confirmed by Hashimoto.
The first athletes will come to the Olympic Village after the virus tested positive, creating fears of a cluster a few days before the opening ceremony.
At least 58 cases related to the Games have been found this month, including four Athletes.
According to a weekend poll by Asahi Shimbun newspaper, 55% of voters voted against holding the Olympics this summer, and 33% were in favor.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged that the Games will be “safe and secure”, but 68% of respondents in the Asahi poll said they believe it is impossible.
Tokyo Takaya spokesman for Tokyo 2020 said he was unaware of reports of Toyota announcements, but stressed that sponsors provide support.
“I know these partners and sponsors had to be fighting to help Tokyo 2020,” he told Reporters on Monday.
“Of course, given people’s feelings … it’s up to each company to decide how they can spread it, how they should be to get their messages across to the public.”
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