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Toyota halts Olympic-themed TV ads, amid growing pandemic-related issues for Tokyo game

Toyota signed an 8-year contract to sponsor the Olympics which started globally in 2017 and continues through the 2024 Games.

Updated: July 19, 2021 - 11:30am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Toyota said Monday it will not air Olympic-themed TV advertisements, amid growing issues and concerns about the games that are set to begin this weekend in Tokyo amid growing pandemic problems.

The games, postponed from 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have about 200 athletes participating who are affiliated with Toyota – including swimmer Takeashi Kawamoto and softball player Miu Goto, according to the Associated Press.

"There are many issues with these games that are proving difficult to be understood," said Jun Nagata, the chief spokesperson for the Japan-headquartered company.

Toyota, which is one of the top corporate sponsors for the International Olympic Committee, still plans to support its athletes.

Akio Toyoda, the automaker's chief executive and grandson of the company founder, does not plan to attend the opening ceremony Friday, the wire service also reports.  

COVID-19 cases have increased in Japan, and the capital city of Tokyo is under a state of emergency.

Some participants of the games, which will have no spectators, have already tested positive for the virus.