TOKYO (AP) — Toyota received’t be airing any Olympic-themed commercials on Japanese tv throughout the Tokyo Video games regardless of being one of many IOC’s high company sponsors.
The extraordinary determination by the nation’s high automaker underlines how polarizing the Video games have turn into in Japan as COVID-19 infections rise forward of Friday’s opening ceremony.
“There are various points with these Video games which might be proving tough to be understood,” Toyota Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata advised reporters Monday.
Chief Govt Akio Toyoda, the corporate founder’s grandson, might be skipping the opening ceremony. That’s regardless of about 200 athletes collaborating within the Olympics and Paralympics who’re affiliated with Toyota, together with swimmer Takeshi Kawamoto and softball participant Miu Goto.
Nagata stated the corporate will proceed to help its athletes.
Being a company sponsor for the Olympics is often all about utilizing the video games as a platform to boost the model. However being linked with a pandemic-era Video games could also be considered by some as a possible advertising and marketing drawback.
Masa Takaya, a Tokyo 2020 spokesperson, stated sponsors every make its personal choices on their messages.
“There’s a blended public sentiment in the direction of the Video games,” Takaya stated.
“I want to emphasise that these companions and firms have been very supportive to Tokyo 2020. They’re captivated with making these Video games occur.”
Toyota Motor Corp. signed on as a worldwide Olympic sponsor in 2015, in an 8-year deal reportedly value almost $1 billion, turning into the primary automobile firm to affix the IOC’s top-tier advertising and marketing program.
The sponsorship, which began globally in 2017, runs via the 2024 Olympics, protecting three consecutive Olympics in Asia, together with the Tokyo Video games.
The Tokyo Olympics, already delayed by a 12 months, are going forward regardless of the Japanese capital being underneath a state of emergency.
It’s already just about a made-for-TV Olympics with most occasions, together with the opening ceremony, going forward with out followers within the venues. Some dignitaries, corresponding to IOC President Thomas Bach and Emperor Naruhito, are prone to attend.
Toyota is among the most trusted manufacturers in Japan. The maker of the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxurious fashions prides itself on its quality control, with its “simply in time” super-efficient manufacturing strategies praised and emulated all over the world.
Public opinion surveys replicate widespread concern amongst Japanese folks about having tens of 1000’s of Olympic individuals enter the nation throughout a pandemic. Some have already got tested positive for COVID.
Motoyuki Niitsuma, a producing plant employee who was banging on a bucket in a current Tokyo protest in opposition to the Olympics, stated he didn’t like the thought of cheering for the nationwide workforce, and the pandemic has made that message clear.
“The time to compete is over. Now could be the time to cooperate,” he stated. “We should always by no means have gotten the Video games.”
AP Videographer Johnson Lai contributed to this report.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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