Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday agreed with International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach that the Tokyo Olympics will be held as planned next summer, possibly with spectators, despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Both said preparations have already been discussed and agreed to continue working closely to ensure the safety of visitors as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the world.
After the meeting, Mr. Bach told reporters he is confident spectators will be able to enter games venues to watch the sporting action, promising that the IOC will step up efforts to make sure those in the crowd and athletes will be vaccinated “if by then a vaccine is available.”
“In this meeting, we were totally aligned in the full determination and confidence to make the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Paralympic Games a great success next summer here in Tokyo, Together we can make these Olympics Games and the Olympic flame the light at the end of the tunnel,” he added
This is the IOC leader’s first trip to Japan since the decision in March to postpone the Olympics and Paralympics by one year due to the outbreak of the virus.
The games are now scheduled to be held in 2021, the Olympics on July 23-Aug. 8 and the Paralympics on Aug. 24-Sept. 5.