The Tokyo Olympics are ‘definitely on’ say organizers
With the coronavirus outbreak looking over the summer months, the fate of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been in the spotlight.
The Japanese government puts bans on various football matches and rituals to mark the opening of March’s sumo season, calling many to question whether or not the Olympics would be under threat.
But organisers have said that the Olympics and the Paralympics are both still very much on schedule for the summer, and are in no danger of being scrapped.
"We have not thought about it. We have not heard about it. We have made inquiries, and we were told there is no such plan," Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.
"Our basic thinking is to conduct the Olympics and Paralympics as planned. That's our assumption."
The coronavirus recently caused shutdowns across Venice, Italy.
He said the torch relay – which was going to travel across Fukushima on March 26 – also would not be cancelled, but the route might change.
"We are absolutely not considering cancelling it. But we will think about how we can hold it in ways that won't lead to the spread of the virus, including reducing its scale," he added.
Earlier this month, Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto told Japanese parliament that the games would go ahead as planned.
"At the IOC review meeting in Tokyo the other day which committee chair John Coates participated, the coronavirus was of course on the agenda," she said.
"At that time, we received a high rating on our preparation for the Tokyo Games, and the IOC offered to continue its support."
However, "It is important to prepare considering the worst-case scenario," she added.
The Olympics are set to open on July 24, while the Paralympics are set for August 25.