A Japan Olympic Committee board member criticized organizers of the Tokyo Games Friday for ignoring public concerns about hosting the international sporting event during the pandemic.
Kaori Yamaguchi, a former Olympic medalist in judo, accused the Games' organizing panel, the Japan government and the International Olympic Committee of "avoiding dialogue."
"I believe we've already missed the opportunity to cancel...We have been cornered into a situation where we cannot even stop now. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don't," Reuters quoted the committee official as saying Friday.
Yamaguchi said the IOC "seems to think that public opinion in Japan isn't important."
Meanwhile, around 10,000 unpaid Olympic volunteers told organizers they would no longer participate when the games open July 23, according to reports.
Organizers believe many dropped out because of fears of contracting COVID-19. An estimated 13,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Japan, which is fewer compared to most countries.
With a slow vaccine rollout, Tokyo and nine other regions under a state of emergency, and increasing numbers of severe cases of the virus, most Japanese are not in favor of hosting the Olympics.
But, Tokyo Olympics organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto rules out the possibility of postponing the Games.
"We cannot postpone again," Hashimoto, who is athlete-turned-politician, told the Nikkan Sports newspaper in an interview.
According to the Asahi newspaper, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also appeared confident of hosting a successful Olympics and Paralympics as he plans a snap election afterward.
Organizers and health officials have not decided whether spectators will be permitted to attend Olympics events. There are fears that shouting, high-fiving and hugging could spread the virus.
Shigeru Omi, the government's top medical adviser, told parliament Friday the biggest risk from the sporting event was increased movement of the general public, which has contributed to past increases in COVID-19 infections.