Tokyo, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- The Japanese government on Friday reiterated its intention to hold the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo as planned, despite rumors of their possible cancellation amid the gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country and the rest of the world.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was determined to organize a safe Games in close collaboration with the Tokyo government, the Tokyo Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee.
Suga spoke in an address during a session of the upper house of parliament on Friday.
The Games should serve as proof of humanity’s victory against Covid-19, the Japanese leader added, reiterating the message that the Japanese authorities have been sending since March of last year, when the decision was taken to postpone the Games by a year on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympics were initially scheduled to be held in the summer of 2020.
Suga’s remarks come amid growing voices both within Japan and outside about a possible delay or even cancellation of the Tokyo Games due to the global health crisis, which is now worse in terms of daily infections than it was in March last year.
On Thursday, British newspaper The Times reported that the Japanese government had already concluded that holding the Games this summer would be impossible, citing sources from the ruling coalition.
Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto denied this report in remarks to media on Friday.
When asked about the matter, the minister said that the Japanese government will make every effort to hold this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
She added that Japan was doing everything possible to control the pandemic and taking all the necessary steps to hold the Games.
The Tokyo Organizing Committee echoed her sentiments on Friday.
“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,” the Committee said in a statement.
“All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer,” it added. EFE