‘The Tokyo Games are on’ Japan determined to host Olympics

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has affirmed his nation’s commitment to hosting the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

Suga admitted that it was approaching decision-time on the hosting of the Olympics in Tokyo, which were postponed last year after the outbreak of the coronavirus spread across the world.

‘The Tokyo Games are on’ say organisers

“At some point in time, we will naturally make a decision as to whether to actually hold it,” Deputy government spokesman Manabu Sakai said.

“Until then the Japanese government will do what it needs to do and make progress and prepare for it.”

Sakai asserted that there was “no truth” to the report in UK-based newspaper The Times, which quoted an unnamed ruling coalition source as saying “the consensus is that it’s too difficult” to hold the Olympics this year.

Tokyo Olympic Games organisers also said they were “fully focused on hosting the Games this summer”.

The Olympic committees of the United States, Canada and Australia all said they were preparing to send teams to Tokyo.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said there was “no reason whatsoever” for them not to go ahead on 23 July.

“This is why there is no plan B,” Bach told Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it remained focused on preparing for the Games.

“We have not received any information suggesting the Games will not happen as planned, and our focus remains on the health and preparedness of Team USA athletes ahead of the Games this summer,” the USOPC tweeted.

Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll also ruled out a withdrawal, calling reports of the Games’ cancellation “unfounded rumour”.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike added her voice to those questioning where the Times obtained their information on the staging of the Games.

“We’ve been firmly coordinating with the government, the organising committee and the IOC… and the truth is that there has been no talk of cancellation or postponement,” she told reporters.

Opposition to hosting of the Olympics

However, opposition lawmakers in Japan’s parliament have called for the Games to be postponed or cancelled. Meanwhile, The Tokyo Medical Association has called for the event to be held behind closed doors.

“They must give up the idea of having the festivity of the century by inviting people from various countries,” its chairman Haruo Ozaki told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

“The feasibility of holding it with no spectators should be considered.”

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