No matter how tough the questions get, no matter how many times reporters ask, the person in charge of running the Summer Olympics remains calm. There is a quiet determination in her voice.
The Games are pushing stubbornly ahead despite concerns about surging coronavirus cases in Japan, where only about 20% of residents have been vaccinated. There has been a costly yearlong postponement, a series of scandals and constant public grumbling.
“We promised the world to host the Games,” Hashimoto tells the assembled media, insisting that “we have to complete our mission.”
The Tokyo Olympics leadership — and the International Olympic Committee — have a reason to remain steadfast. They have a lot riding on the next 17 days.