Leading Olympic sponsor Panasonic has decided that its President Yuki Kusumi will not attend Friday's opening ceremony, a day after auto giant Toyota said it would not air any more TV ads related to the Olympics despite being a global sponsor, according to a report in Nikkei Asia.
More Japanese companies have decided against sending executives to the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics in a move to distance themselves from the Games which are coming under increasing criticism back home over concerns that they will lead to a surge in coronavirus cases.
The corporate giants appear to have veered around to the view that closely associating themselves with the Olympics is likely to harm their marketing efforts.
Senior officials from Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp. are others who will skip the event, spokespersons of these companies told the media.
Bridgestone Corp. had already decided not to broadcast commercials, a spokesman for the tyre manufacturer said.
WHO chief backs Olympic Games
Meanwhile WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has supported the Tokyo Games at a session of the International Olympic Committee.
"The Olympics have the power to bring the world together, to inspire, to show what's possible. It is my sincere hope the Tokyo Games succeed," Tedros said.
"The mark of success in the coming fortnight is not zero cases, and I know that some cases have already been detected. The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible, and onward transmission is interrupted. That is the mark of success for every country,” he said.
His backing came on a day when Chilean athlete It comes as Chilean taekwondo athlete Fernanda Aguirre became the first Olympian to be ruled out of action after testing positive for Covid-19.