FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Olympic Fireworks In Japan?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows fireworks being set off in Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Verdict: False

The video actually shows New Year’s fireworks in Taiwan.

Fact Check:

The opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics took place July 23 at the city’s Olympic Stadium, NBC News reported. Fireworks went off from the top of the stadium during the festivities, as seen in a YouTube video posted by Reuters.

The July 26 Facebook post features footage of a crowd watching fireworks being launched from a nearby skyscraper. In the caption, the user identifies them as “Olympic fireworks in Japan.” (RELATED: Did Media And Sponsors ‘Ignore’ Olympian Kim Rhode Because She Is Pro-Second Amendment?)

However, the video was actually filmed outside Japan more than six months before the Olympic opening ceremony and is unrelated to the ongoing Summer Games. Footage of the same fireworks display from a different angle was posted Dec. 31 of last year on YouTube by Taiwan News, which reported it showed a New Year’s celebration at the Taipei 101 skyscraper in the Taiwanese capital.

Taipei 101 posted other footage of its New Year’s fireworks on its verified Facebook page the same day the display occurred. Photos of the same event can also be found on Getty Images. In Taipei 101’s video and the photos on Getty Images, the skyscraper and fireworks display match those captured in the video erroneously described by some Facebook users as showing Olympic fireworks.

The People’s Republic of China considers self-ruled Taiwan to be territory under its jurisdiction, whereas 15 countries maintain diplomatic recognition of the Taiwanese government, according to BBC News. Through a 1981 agreement with the International Olympic Committee, Taiwan competes as “Chinese Taipei” in the Olympics, AFP reported. As of press time, the “Chinese Taipei” team has won one gold medal, two silver medals and three bronze medals in the ongoing Summer Olympics, according to the Olympics website.

The closing ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled for Aug. 8, The New York Times reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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