Postponement of Tokyo Olympics a likely option, says Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
XtraTime Web Desk: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday voiced his support towards International Olympic Committee’s suggestion to postpone the Tokyo Olympics 2020 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the 2020 Games due to start on July 24, including a possible postponement.
On Monday during the session in Parliament Abe expressed his concerns about staging the quadrennial event in its complete form due to the COPVID-19 pandemic.
Abe said that while cancelling the Games was not an option, a delay was now on the cards if that was the only way to hold the event in its complete form.
“If that becomes difficult, we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games,” he told parliament.
The Japanese Prime Minister had conveyed his views to Tokyo Games chief Yoshiro Mori on Sunday evening, who then discussed the issue with IOC President Thomas Bach.
Under mounting pressure from athletes, federations and national committees to postpone the Games, the IOC did a partial U-turn on Sunday after long insisting, with Tokyo organisers, that the Games would go ahead as planned.
More than 13,000 people have died globally since the coronavirus outbreak began in China late last year, with the epicentre now in Europe.
Japan itself had reported 37 deaths along with 1055 cases till Sunday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.