Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has warned the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games may not happen next year if the coronavirus pandemic is not contained.
Last month the Games were moved from August until July 2021 because of the outbreak.
“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” Abe said.
He added that the Olympics “must be held in a way that shows the world has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic,” and warned that Japan should “brace for a protracted battle.”
Earlier this week Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said the Games would be “scrapped” if they could not take place in 2021. While the head of the Japan Medical Association, Yoshitake Yokokura, said that “unless an effective vaccine is developed, I expect hosting the Olympics will be difficult.”