Toyota won't run Olympics ads and its CEO won't attend the opening ceremony
(CNN) -- Toyota will have a subdued role at the Olympics in Japan this year, despite being one of the event's biggest sponsors.
According to a company spokesman, the automaker will not be releasing any commercials related to the Tokyo Games, choosing instead torun its "regular" ads in Japan.
The representative, Hideaki Honma, emphasized Monday that the company was not "canceling" any Olympics-related commercials, saying that none were planned in the first place.
Earlier this month, Japan confirmed that the Games would be held under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Honma also confirmed to CNN Business that Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda would not be attending the Olympics opening ceremony, set to take place this Friday.
"We wanted to refrain from attending while people who were looking forward to the event cannot go now," Honma said, noting the recent decision by organizers to not allow any spectators, because of public health concerns.
Some business leaders have also spoken out amid the controversy. In May, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told CNN Business that it would be a "suicide mission" for the country to host the Games this summer.
Asked about Toyota's decision during a press conference Monday, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said he "wasn't aware" of the news.
But he acknowledged that Olympic sponsors "must have been struggling to support" the Games this year, particularly amid "mixed public sentiment."
"In that respect, there must be a decision by each company in terms of ... how they should be able to convey their messages to public audiences from [their]own corporate [perspectives]," he told reporters.
Toyota is one of the Olympics' top sponsors, alongside major global brands such as Coca-Cola, Samsung and Visa.
Organizers will review the decision to allow stakeholders into the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony, which is slated for July 23, Seiko Hashimoto, head of the Japanese Olympic Committee said earlier this month.
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