In Tokyo, the Olympic Games in complete discretion

Like in an action movie. The transfer takes place in a large car park near the bay, away from the beating heart of the city. It is not a spy who changes vehicle and leaves immediately, blurring the tracks. No, they are journalists from all over the world, who are driven from Tokyo airports by coach, to then distribute them individually in black taxis, responsible for bringing them to their destination, in hotels in the capital.

You have to get out of the bus one by one – which is not marked “ JO ” Where ” Tokyo 2020 », – receive a little hydroalcoholic gel on the hands and rush into a taxi, with tinted rear windows. Without ever having met the gaze of an inhabitant.

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In the only place where these two worlds can be in contact, in the airport lobby, agents rush to frame journalists and exfiltrate them towards the vehicles. It is then forbidden for any participant in the Games to walk in the city or take public transport.

Treasure hunt

Before getting there, we had to face a mountain of administrative formalities, and almost a dozen counters to go through at the airport. A very long distance hurdle race, supervised by an army of agents, who guarantee a watertight circuit within the airport.

At each stage, new papers and QR codes to present. We are given a green paper, which we exchange for another green paper, at the next counter. A real treasure hunt. There are journalists who swear, like this Italian who is in his 15e Games, and which has never had so much difficulty entering them.

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It is also necessary to go through the saliva test: in the collection room, a photo of yellow lemons is plastered on the wall. Supposed to make us salivate? Then comes the wait in front of a big screen that delivers numbers, like in bingo. Negative test, we can pass. There are still immigration officers, then customs. Search of the suitcase, fingerprints and photos.

Pennants here and there

This sealing is of course orchestrated for health reasons: the organizers want to avoid the birth of a “ Olympic variant And the massive political disaffection that this could engender. But faced with the opposition of a large majority of the population, everything also seems to be done to make the holding of the Olympics as less visible as possible.

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Like the opening ceremony, the Games are maintained but will take place in a sober manner. You only have to cross the center of the Japanese capital on the eve of the launch to see it. From avenue to avenue, nothing reminds us that the city is organizing the biggest sporting event on the planet. If not small flags, here and there on the lampposts. No palpable fervor, either, in the stifling July heat. The ceremony will kick off on Friday July 23 at 1 p.m. French time.


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