MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Tokyo Olympics could be postponed if the Games cannot be held safely in a full format amid the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says.
“If holding Olympics in a full format becomes difficult, we have to, first of all, think about the athletes and it is not excluded that we will have to make a decision on postponing the Games”, Abe said on Monday morning, as quoted by Kyodo News.
Abe also told parliament that canceling the Games was not an option.
On Sunday, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach announced that a final decision on the possible postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo would be made in four weeks.
USA Track and Field (USATF), the governing body of the US athletics federation, requested the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday, which are scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August.
The Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), as well as Brazil’s and Norway’s Olympic Committees, have also called for postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As of 22 March, Japan has registered at least 1,046 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organisation.
At the same time, the Johns Hopkins University data shows that the number of infected people in Japan stands at 1,086, with the death toll currently at 40.