Japan Olympics Minister Says No Games Until Pandemic Under Control

Published March 24th, 2020 - 03:41 GMT
The fate of the Tokyo 2020 Games has been called into question, with mass gatherings canceled worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The fate of the Tokyo 2020 Games has been called into question, with mass gatherings canceled worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan's Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said an end to coronavirus infections worldwide would be necessary before Japan can proceed with hosting the Games.

"Unless each country and region has curbed the (spread of) coronavirus, it would not be possible to proceed with hosting the Games in the true "complete" manner" she said at a regular briefing on Tuesday.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games set for this summer will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, said another member of the International Olympic Committee on Monday.

"On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided," Dick Pound, 77, from Canada told USA Today.
"The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know," he said.

Pound, the longest-serving member of the committee, added that the games will "likely" be held in 2021 as the IOC will work on details over the next four weeks.

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo had been set to kick off on July 24.

Discussion is ongoing between the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo's organizers on postponement of the summer Games.

Talks are scheduled later Tuesday between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach over telephone.

After meeting this Sunday, the IOC Executive Board spoke in a statement of "discussions within the next four weeks" over plans for the summer, and a letter by IOC President Thomas Bach said canceling the games was not being considered.

The fate of the Tokyo 2020 Games has been called into question, with mass gatherings canceled worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 168 countries and regions around the globe, with over 360,000 confirmed cases and over 15,000 deaths, according to data compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.


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