Going into reverse: Toyota pulls Olympics ads from Japanese TV as carmaker distances itself from controversial Tokyo Games
Major sponsors Toyota won’t be airing any Olympic-themed ads on Japanese TV during the Tokyo Games this summer, the company has said, as hostility towards the event continues to simmer among the local population.
Toyota is among the top corporate sponsors for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the giant automaker appears keen to put this summer’s Covid-hit Games firmly in the rear-view mirror.
“There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to be understood,” said Toyota chief communications officer Jun Nagata on Monday, the AP reported.
Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda will be skipping Friday’s opening ceremony, despite the Japanese behemoth being a global Olympic sponsor in an eight-year deal running to 2024 which is said to be worth almost $1 billion.
In ordinary times, an Olympic Games on home soil would be the ideal opportunity for a company to trumpet its ties to the event. But these are no ordinary times, and resentment in Japan at the Games going ahead remains high.
A new poll has shown that two-thirds of Japanese people don’t believe that the Tokyo Olympics can be held safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The news follows a spate of infections being recorded among athletes and other staff at the Olympic Village just days before the Games are set to begin.Also on rt.com Two-thirds of Japanese don’t believe Olympics organizers can pull off safe games, poll shows after Covid-19 found among athletes
“There is a mixed public sentiment towards the Games,” said Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya.
“I need to emphasize that those partners and companies have been very supportive to Tokyo 2020.
"They are passionate about making these Games happen.”Also on rt.com ‘Who are the Olympics for?’ Japan football captain calls for fans to be allowed despite entire South Africa team being quarantined