Tokyo Olympics will be Cancelled if Pandemic not over
The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will need to be canceled if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t brought in check by next year, the organizing committee’s president said in comments published Tuesday.
The pandemic has already forced a year-long delay of the Games, which are now scheduled to open in July 2021. Still, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said no further postponement was possible.
Tokyo 2020 is now scheduled to run from July 23 to eight August next year after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Health experts have cast doubt on whether the Games might be held next summer without a vaccine or effective drugs to treat Covid-19 being found. When asked if the event might be moved again to 2022, Chief Yoshiro Mori replied: “No, therein case, the Olympics are going to be scrapped.”
Mori noted the Games had been canceled previously only during wartime and compared the battle against coronavirus to “fighting an invisible enemy.” If the virus is successfully contained, “we’ll hold the Olympics in peace next summer,” he added. “Mankind is depending on it.”
Japanese organizers and, therefore, the International Olympic Committee, under heavy pressure from athletes and international sports federations, agreed in March to a year-long postponement of the Games. Organizers and Japanese officials have said the delayed Olympics are going to be an opportunity to showcase the worlds conquer the coronavirus. Still, questions have arisen about whether even a year’s postponement is sufficient.
On Tuesday, the top of Japan Medical Association warned it might be “exceedingly difficult” to carry the Games next year if a vaccine has not been found. “I wouldn’t say that they ought not to be held, but it might be exceedingly difficult,” Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters at an appointment.
In the interview, Mori also said organizers were considering holding joint opening and shutting ceremonies for the Olympics and, therefore, the Paralympics in an attempt to chop costs. Under the plan, the Paralympics would join the Olympic opening ceremony on July 23, and consequently, the Olympic closing ceremony would be integrated into the Paralympics closing event in September.
But Mori admitted that Tokyo organizers had not yet obtained the consent of the IOC and their Paralympic counterparts thereon plan. “It’s getting to a substantial cut in costs and an enormous message of victory against the worldwide crisis, but it isn’t easy,” Mori said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on Wednesday, also said that the Tokyo Olympics couldn’t happen next year unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained, because the city’s governor requested an extension of Japan’s state of emergency.
“We’ve been saying the Olympic, and Paralympic Games must be held during a complete form, therein athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It might be impossible to carry the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” Abe said in response to an opposition lawmaker.
Abe staked a part of his legacy as Japan’s longest-serving premier on holding the Games and hoped for a boom in tourism and consumer spending. Japan gathered some $3 billion in domestic sponsorship, an Olympic record, and spent on the brink of $13 billion on preparations.
The prime minister said on Wednesday that the Olympics “must be held during a way that shows the planet has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic,” and cautioned that Japan should “brace for a protracted battle.”
The national tally stands at 13,895 infections, including 413 deaths, Japan national broadcaster NHK said.