Games go-ahead not solely up to Japan, says Suga

Tokyo, Jan 27 (efe-epa).- The final decision on whether or not to hold the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer does not solely rest with Japan, but will also depend on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organizing committee, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

Suga was asked in a parliamentary meeting about the criteria used by his government to decide whether or not to go ahead with the organization of the games scheduled for this summer in Tokyo, amid growing concerns about whether the event can be held safely during the unrelenting Covid-19 pandemic.

The government carries out the preparations in collaboration with the IOC, the Tokyo government and the organizing committee, the leader said.

Suga also stressed that the government’s current priority is to make every effort to overcome the pandemic, and that doing so will be extremely important in order to hold a safe Olympics.

The government is studying concrete measures to be taken and making preparations in close collaboration with the IOC, the Tokyo government and the organizing committee, he said.

Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said that there are plans to decide in the spring if there can be public spectators in the stands of the competitions and to what extent.

Other issues to be resolved between the IOC, the central government and Tokyo, she said, will be whether foreign visitors will be able to enter Japan for the Olympics, as the country closed its borders at the end of last month.

The latest announcements by the Japanese government on Tokyo 2020 take place on the same day as an IOC meeting to be chaired by Thomas Bach.

It is expected that during this meeting the IOC will reiterate its message in favor of holding the games as planned, and after reports emerged last week of a decision made by the Japanese government on the cancellation of the event, which the government later denied.

Due to the third and largest wave of Covid-19 infections to date, Tokyo and other highly populated regions of Japan are under a state of emergency until Feb. 7, a measure linked to the border restrictions and that could be extended for another month in the next few days. EFE-EPA


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