Beijing: The COVID-19 challenges have not compromised Japan and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) determination to host, as scheduled, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was already postponed for a year due to the pandemic, IOC vice president Yu Zaiqing said.
Yu confirmed that the IOC and its Japanese partners’ determination to host the Tokyo Games “remains unchanged” and urged for “spreading accurate information.”
Earlier on Friday, Dick Pound, the longest-serving IOC member, told UK’s state broadcaster BBC that “I can’t be certain because the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus,” raising concerns about whether the postponed Games will be staged.
Tokyo 2020 organisers said in a statement on the same day that they will continue to “proceed carefully with all necessary work” under “required safety and security measures” in preparation for the Games that is due to be held from July 23 to August 8.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga promised that “a safe and secure games” would be held as scheduled despite declaring on Thursday afternoon a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures from January 8 to February 7 as the capital city reported a record 2,447 new COVID-19 cases that day.