Somewhere along the line Baron Von Ripper-off i‚Ú‚Á‚½‚­‚è’jŽÝjand the other gold-plated pretenders at the International Olympic Committee decided to treat Japan as their footstool. But Japan didnft surrender its sovereignty when it agreed to host the Olympics. If the Tokyo Summer Games have become a threat to the national interest, Japanfs leaders should tell the IOC to go find another duchy to plunder. A cancellation would be hard — but it would also be a cure.

Von Ripper-off, a.k.a. IOC President Thomas Bach, and his attendants have a bad habit of ruining their hosts, like royals on tour who consume all the wheat sheaves in the province and leave stubble behind. Where, exactly, does the IOC get off imperiously insisting that the Games must go on, when fully 72 percent of the Japanese public is reluctant or unwilling to entertain 15,000 foreign athletes and officials in the midst of a pandemic?

The answer is that the IOC derives its power strictly from the Olympic ghost contract.h Itfs a highly illuminating document that reveals much about the highhanded organization and how it leaves host nations with crippling debts. Seven pages are devoted to gmedical servicesh the host must provide — free of charge — to anyone with an Olympic credential, including rooms at local hospitals expressly reserved for them and only them. Tokyo organizers have estimated they will need to divert about 10,000 medical workers to service the IOCfs demands.

Eight Olympic workers tested positive for the coronavirus during the torch relay last week — though they were wearing masks. Less than 2 percent of Japanfs population is vaccinated. Small wonder the head of Japanfs medical workersf union, Susumu Morita, is incensed at the prospect of draining mass medical resources. gI am furious at the insistence on staging the Olympics despite the risk to patientsf and nursesf health and lives,h he said in a statement.

Japanfs leaders should cut their losses and cut them now, with 11 weeks left to get out of the remainders of this deal. The Olympics always cost irrational sums — and they lead to irrational decisions. And itfs an irrational decision to host an international mega-event amid a global pandemic. Itfs equally irrational to keep tossing good money after bad.

At this point, money is the chief reason anyone is even considering going forward with a Summer Games. Japan has invested nearly $25 billion in hosting. But how much more will it cost to try to bubble 15,000 visitors, with daily testing and other protocols, and to provide the security and massive logistics and operating costs? And what might a larger disaster cost?

Suppose Japan were to break the contract. What would the IOC do? Sue? If so, in what court of justice? Who would have jurisdiction? What would such a suit do to the IOCfs reputation — forcing the Games in a stressed and distressed nation during a pandemic?