The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, declared himself convinced on Thursday that the Olympic Games in Tokyo would be held this summer, adding that “there (was) no plan B” as the pandemic continues to plague the world, including Japan.
“We have no reason at this time to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on July 23 at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo,” Bach said in an interview with the Japanese agency Kyodo, in six months of the Olympics.
“This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are totally committed to making these Games (Games) safe and successful,” he said.
The same determination was noticeable this week at the Tokyo-2020 organizing committee. “The holding of the Games is our inflexible course and, at this stage, we are not discussing anything else,” its director general Toshiro Muto said in an interview with AFP, adding that the scenario of a cancellation “n ‘(was) not in discussions’.
Mr. Muto, however, did not rule out that the Games (23 July-8 August) could be held with a limited number of spectators or without spectators at all.
In the face of record coronavirus cases, a state of emergency was reinstated this month in much of Japan, including Tokyo and its suburbs, as in spring 2020.
Worried that the event would worsen the situation, more than 80% of Japanese are now opposed to the Olympics this year, preferring either a further postponement or an outright cancellation, according to a recent poll.
The Tokyo Olympics, which were initially to be held in the summer of 2020, were postponed for a year due to the pandemic, a first in peacetime.