Tokyo Olympics: Japan PM Suga reacts after senior official hints at cancellation of Games due to Covid-19

3 weeks ago 15

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga connected Thursday stressed that the authorities if afloat focussed connected controlling the dispersed of Covid-19 aft a elder ruling enactment authoritative said that cancelling the Tokyo Olympics is surely an enactment if the coronavirus pandemic concern worsens.

Yoshihide Suga did not straight respond to the elder official's comments but helium maintained that determination is nary alteration successful the government's stance erstwhile it comes to preparing for the Olympics, which is scheduled to beryllium held from July 23 to August 8 successful Tokyo.

"There's nary alteration to the government's stance, to bash everything imaginable to forestall the dispersed of infections arsenic we caput towards the Olympics," Suga said, arsenic quoted by Reuters.

Earlier successful the day, Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party said the Japanese authorities volition halt mentation for the Games if the Covid-19 concern makes it intolerable to big the quadrennial event, which was postponed until July 2021 owed to the pandemic past year.

"If it seems intolerable (to big the Olympics) immoderate more, past we person to halt it, decisively," Toshihiro Nikai said successful comments to broadcaster TBS.

"Cancelling is of people an opinion. If the Olympics were to dispersed infection, past what are the Olympics for?" helium added.

However, the Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee responded with a connection saying each those progressive successful preparing for the Games remained afloat focused connected hosting them successful the summer.

With Japan successful the midst of a 4th question of coronavirus infections, doubts implicit whether Tokyo would beryllium capable to big the Summer Games - already an unpopular thought with the nationalist - person resurfaced successful caller weeks.

But authorities and organising officials person consistently said the Games would spell ahead, and the information that a ruling enactment heavyweight made the remark was capable to springiness his comments apical billing connected home news. "Olympics Cancelled" was trending connected Twitter successful Japan with astir 50,000 tweets from users arsenic of Thursday afternoon.

Nikai aboriginal issued a written connection to explicate his stance.

"I privation the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to succeed," the connection said. "At the aforesaid time, to the question of whether we would big the (Games) nary substance what, that is not the case. That's what I meant by my comments."

Tokyo Olympic organising committee reiterates commitment

Asked astir Nikai's comments, the Tokyo Olympic organising committee said successful a statement: "Prime Minister Suga has repeatedly expressed the government's committedness to holding the Tokyo 2020 Games.

"All our transportation partners including the nationalist government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) are afloat focused connected hosting the Games this summer."

Japan is grappling with rising COVID-19 infections, with caller cases successful Tokyo jumping to 729 connected Thursday, the astir since aboriginal February. Tokyo, Osaka and respective different prefectures entered a quasi-state of exigency this month, asking bars and restaurants to shorten their hours.

Still, the authorities is pushing up with preparations incorporating societal distancing measures and different restrictions for the postponed Games, which are acceptable to statesman connected July 23 and volition beryllium held without planetary spectators. A scaled-back torch relay is already underway.