Tokyo Olympics (Gallo Images)
Tokyo Olympics organisers insisted on Friday that the
coronavirus-postponed Games will still go ahead despite Japan declaring a
state of emergency less than 200 days before the opening ceremony.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday announced the month-long
measure covering the greater Tokyo area, taking effect from Friday, as
the country battles a surge in infections.
Tokyo 2020 chiefs have already said that another postponement of the Games – set to begin on 23 July 23 – is out of the question.
And they insisted on Friday that the emergency would not derail plans.
“This declaration of emergency offers an opportunity to get the
Covid-19 situation under control and for Tokyo 2020 to plan for a safe
and secure Games this summer, and we will proceed with the necessary
preparations accordingly,” organisers said in a statement.
Suga said on Thursday that Japan is committed to holding a “safe and
secure” Olympics, and that he believes public mood will change when the
country begins vaccinations, currently scheduled for late next month.
International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told the BBC he
could not “be certain” the Games will go ahead, because “the ongoing
elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus”.
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