TOKYO—Don’t light the Olympic torch just yet, the postponed Tokyo Summer Olympics could still be cancelled because of the ongoing threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is according to a senior Japanese ruling party official.
A Reuters report (opens in new tab) has shared comments that Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, made to Japanese broadcaster TBS:
“If it seems impossible (to host the Olympics) any more, then we have to stop it, decisively.”
He added that cancellation was an option, particularly if the two-week sporting event could increase the danger of spreading the COVID-19 virus. He also later clarified that we wanted the Olympics and Paralympics to succeed in Tokyo, but that it shouldn’t be “no matter what.”
The Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee issued its own statement saying that they are remaining focused in preparing to host the Games, which are scheduled to begin on July 23.
Reuters reports that Japan is in the midst of a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, and that many Japanese citizens would prefer to see the Olympics cancelled.
Broadcasters have been preparing for a socially distant Olympics, with major international broadcasters sharing their plans to increase their remote operations for the Games.
In the original decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (opens in new tab) in March last year, the International Olympic Committee said that the rescheduled Games must not occur later than 2021. Meaning if the Tokyo Olympics were to be cancelled, they would likely not be rescheduled a second time.
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