On Friday, the Times of London quoted an unnamed senior member of the ruling coalition as stating that Japanese officials had privately concluded that the Olympics could not progress further due to the ongoing epidemic. CNN has not independently verified the report, which officials in Tokyo hastened to refute.
In a statement, Tokyo 2020 organizers said that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had expressed to them their determination to hold the Games, and that meetings were underway to ensure that they were fully transitioned due to the epidemic, and countermeasures and May proceed by applying other precautions.
“All our distribution partners, including the national government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, IOC and IPC are fully focused on hosting the game,” the statement said. “We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to do everything possible to prepare for safe and secure sports.”
Speaking in Parliament on Friday morning, Suga said the game would be “a symbol of humanity overcoming the novel coronavirus, and a chance to demonstrate the reconstruction of Japan from the devastating (2011) earthquake and tsunami in the world.”
“We are determined to work closely with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the IOC,” Suga said.
Other Olympic officials were also quick to refute claims made by the Times.
“Unfortunately I need to address this unfounded rumor that the Tokyo Games will be canceled,” Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll told reporters on Friday. “Rumors that are incorrect cause more concern for athletes at our Games. The Tokyo Games continue. The flames will burn on 23 July 2021. It has been reaffirmed by the Japanese Prime Minister this afternoon.”
In a source on Twitter, Canadian Olympic chief David Shoemaker said his team was “unaware of any decision taken by the Japanese government as reported.”
He said, “The Canadian Olympic Committee is confident that the Games can be staged safely and successfully and that everything that has been learned in the sport over the past several months has been emphasized and the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have called Kovid – 19 emphasis on counter-protest. ” “We continue our preparations to participate in Tokyo 2020 with a focus on the health and safety of our athletes, their families and their communities.”