Japanese Gov't Denies Report it is No Longer Considering Tokyo Olympics This Year, Aiming for 2032 Games

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai in a press conference on Friday denied a report by the British newspaper The Times stating the Japanese government has "privately concluded" that it can no longer hold the Tokyo Olympics in its planned opening this year, and is now aiming to win the bid for the 2032 Games.

Sakai added, "Of course we have to take into account the situation abroad, and we will decide on whether to actually hold the event at some point, but until then, the Japanese government will do what needs to be done."

The Times cited a "senior member of the ruling coalition" in its report on Thursday as saying that the government is trying to find a way to make the announcement that still leaves the possibility of hosting the games at a later date.

The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled for July 24 to August 9, 2020, followed by the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6. They were delayed due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and rescheduled to July 23 to August 8, 2021 and August 24 to September 5, 2021, respectively. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo Games organizing committee, and Tokyo Metropolitan and Japanese governments agreed to the schedule.

Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee President Yoshirō Mori previously stated that the Tokyo Olympics will be "scrapped" if it cannot be held in 2021.

A Kyodo News poll revealed earlier this month that 80% of respondents in Japan said the Olympics should be canceled or rescheduled.

Sources: The Mainichi, The Times (Richard Lloyd Parry) via Hachima Kikō

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