Japan rebuts Olympic 'cancellation' talk despite coronavirus fears
Nikkei -- Feb 27
Suggestions by a senior International Olympics Committee member that the Tokyo Games could be canceled if the coronavirus outbreak is not contained by May drew a swift reaction from Japanese officials, while sponsoring companies are anxiously awaiting the fate of the world's biggest sporting event.

Comments by committee member Dick Pound regarding a possible cancellation "are not an official announcement by the IOC," Seiko Hashimoto, Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, told Japan's House of Representatives on Wednesday. The minister stressed that the IOC has told the Tokyo Organizing Committee that it is working to hold the Games in July as scheduled.

"I believe it is necessary to imagine the worst situation in order to achieve the best possible success," she added.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga echoed Hashimoto's remarks at a press conference, saying the world's biggest sporting event will be held as planned. "We would like to prepare steadily for the event, including offering information abroad regarding our measures against the spread of the coronavirus," Suga said.

The officials' comments were prompted after Pound, who has served on the IOC since 1978, told the Associated Press that "you're probably looking at a cancellation" if the games cannot go ahead as scheduled.

While it is still far too soon to say whether the Games will go ahead as scheduled, analysts say sponsors would not have many options for recouping their losses if the event is cancelled.

News source: Nikkei
Apr 06
The governor of Tokyo has expressed alarm about the spread of the coronavirus as a daily record of 143 new cases was reported in the Japanese capital on Sunday. (NHK)
Apr 06
Another 143 people in Tokyo were confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus on Sunday. (NHK)
Apr 06
Japan will earmark 1 trillion yen ($9.2 billion) for a reserve fund to fight the new coronavirus pandemic, according to a draft of an emergency economic package being compiled by the government. (Kyodo)
Apr 06
Another police officer in central Tokyo has tested positive for the coronavirus, leading dozens of her colleagues to be put on leave. (NHK)
Apr 05
There has been much talk in Japan recently about the imminent danger posed by an “overshoot,” a word used with no Japanese translation, little context and an apparent disregard for the English language, baffling English and Japanese speakers alike. (Japan Times)
Apr 05
A cluster of 7 infections of the novel coronavirus has been traced to persons who were present at a hostess club in Gifu City last month, the city government has revealed, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Apr. 3). (tokyoreporter.com)
Apr 05
The Japanese government will support a drive to boost production of the flu drug Avigan as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, with the aim of increasing stockpiles to triple the current amount, Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Apr 04
Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and the main governing Liberal Democratic Party have agreed to give roughly 2,800 dollars to households whose income has fallen to a certain level due to the coronavirus outbreak. (NHK)
Apr 04
The volume of internet data used in Japan jumped 40% in roughly a month, industry figures show, prompting concerns about overwhelming the network. (Nikkei)
Apr 04
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to start moving coronavirus patients with mild or no symptoms out of hospitals and into hotel rooms as early as next week. It aims at vacating hospital beds for a possible surge of more serious cases. (NHK)