The president of the Tokyo Games organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, has assured the world that the upcoming summer sports spectacle in Japan will not be canceled despite coronavirus fears.
The head of the Tokyo Olympics was forced to confirm that the games, which were postponed in 2020, will go as planned after Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary-general of Japan’s ruling party, suggested the event might not go ahead.
“If the Olympics were to spread infections, then what are the Olympics for?” the politician said, adding that canceling “remains an option” if the Covid-19 pandemic worsens.
His comments raised concerns around the world and Hashimoto was forced to clarify the issue, which has been worrying athletes, fans, sponsors and broadcasters in recent months.
“There are a variety of concerns but as the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee we are not thinking about canceling the games,” Hashimoto said during a press conference on Friday.
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“The fact that he [Nikai] is concerned is a point that we need to take seriously as Tokyo 2020. His comment has reminded us of how tedious it was for us to feel confident or be fully prepared for delivering the games,” she explained.
The 2021 Tokyo Games are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8.