Tokyo Olympics begin with muted ceremony and empty stadium

As their opening played out, devoid of the usual crowd energy, the Olympics convened amid simmering anger and disbelief in much of the host country,….

Early in the ceremony, an ethereal blue light bathed the empty seats as loud music muted the shouts of scattered protesters outside calling for the Games to be canceled. A single stage held an octagon shape meant to resemble the country’s fabled Mount Fuji. Later, an orchestral medley of songs from iconic Japanese video games served as the soundtrack for athletes’ entrances.

For now, however, it’s hard to miss how unusual these Games promise to be. The lovely national stadium can seem like an isolated militarized zone, surrounded by huge barricades. Roads around it have been sealed and businesses closed.

AP Tokyo Olympics begin with muted ceremony and empty stadium