Abe says impossible to hold Olympics unless pandemic contained
Japan Times -- Apr 30
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that the Tokyo Olympics could not take place next year in its perfect shape unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained.

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government last month postponed the games until July 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.

With the epidemic's worldwide infection rate climbing and experts suggesting a vaccine is a long way off, doubts have been raised about the chances of holding the massive event next year.

"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 in response to an opposition lawmaker.

Abe staked part of his legacy as Japan’s longest-serving premier on holding the games and was hoping for a boom in tourism and consumer spending. Japan gathered some $3 billion in domestic sponsorship, an Olympic record, and spent close to $13 billion on preparations.

The prime minister said on Wednesday that the Olympics "must be held in a way that shows the world has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic," and cautioned that Japan should "brace for a protracted battle."

News source: Japan Times
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