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Japan PM determined to hold Olympics

Tokyo—Japan’s prime minister said he was “determined” to hold the Tokyo Olympics as organizers on Friday brushed off a report claiming officials think cancellation is inevitable.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (center), Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (left) and Finance Minister Taro Aso (right) attend a cabinet meeting in Tokyo on January 22, 2021, as the prime minister said he was "determined" to hold the Tokyo Olympics following an overnight report claiming officials think cancellation is inevitable. AFP
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s latest insistence that the postponed Games are on track comes after The Times cited an unnamed government source saying Japan has already shifted its focus to hosting in 2032.

“I am determined to realise a safe and secure Tokyo Games as proof that mankind will have overcome the virus,” Suga said Friday, without actively denying the Times report.

Tokyo 2020 organizers, when asked about the report, said they were focused on delivering a “safe and secure” Games.

“Prime Minister Suga has expressed his determination to hold the Games, the government is leading a series of coordination meetings for Covid-19 countermeasures and is implementing thorough infection countermeasures in order to be able to hold the Games,” they said in a statement.

“All our delivery partners... are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer. We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure Games,” they added.

Concerns have risen about the fate of the Games as Japan battles a third wave of virus infections, with polls showing around 80 percent of Japanese oppose hosting the event this year.

The Games are currently scheduled to open in just over six months, on July 23.

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach said in an interview Thursday that the Olympics will go ahead this summer, and there is “no plan B”.

“We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July,” Bach told Kyodo News.

“This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these games safe and successful.”

Topics: Yoshihide Suga , Japan , Tokyo Games , COVID-19 , International Olympic Committee , Thomas Bach
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