Toyota, a sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics, has pulled their TV ads in Japan relating to the Summer Games amid rising public health concerns

By Glenn Garner
July 19, 2021 02:40 PM
Olympic rings
Credit: Carl Court/Getty

Toyota, one of the Tokyo Olympics' top sponsors, has decided to pull their TV ads related to the Summer Games.

Toyota announced on Monday that they will not air commercials related to the Olympics in Japan as local support for the event continues to plummet due to COVID-19 concerns, according to the Associated Press. Additionally, the car company's president and its top CEOs will skip Friday's Opening Ceremony.

"There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to be understood," Jun Nagata, Toyota's chief communications officer, said Monday during a press conference with Japanese media, per the AP.

The announcement came a week after spectators were banned from all venues amid a new state of emergency in Tokyo due to rising rates of COVID-19 cases. The state of emergency will last throughout the duration of the Olympics.

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"There is a mixed public sentiment towards the Games," Tokyo Olympics spokesperson Masa Takaya told the AP in a statement. "I need to emphasize that those partners and companies have been very supportive to Tokyo 2020. They are passionate about making these Games happen."

Toyota is still providing around 3,700 mobility products and vehicles for the Tokyo Games, and 90% of the fleet will be electrified to reduce emissions, according to their website. The company is also continuing to promote the Olympians they sponsor.

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As athletes from around the world arrive in Tokyo, several have already tested positive for COVID-19.

Tennis prodigy Coco Gauff announced Sunday that she is withdrawing from her first Olympics. "I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Gauff, 17, wrote.

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"It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future," Gauff continued. "I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family."

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.