THE man in charge of running the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which have been postponed for a year, has said that he can’t promise that the games will go ahead in 2021.
“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get the coronavirus under control by next July or not,” Tokyo organising committee chief, Toshiro Muto said.
”We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”
The Olympics were postponed last month with a new opening set for July 23, 2021, followed by the Paralympics on August 24.
“We have made the decision to postpone the games by one year,” Muto added.
“So this means that all we can do is work hard to prepare for the games. We sincerely hope that come next year mankind will manage to overcome the coronavirus crisis.”
Muto was asked if there are alternative plans to the 2021 rearrangement.
“Rather than think about alternative arrangements, we should put in all of our effort,” he said.
“Mankind should bring together all of its technology and wisdom to work hard so they can development treatments, medicines and vaccines.”
He also acknowledged that Tokyo Olympic organisers had taken out insurance.
“Tokyo 2020 has taken out several insurance policies,” he said. “But whether the postponement of the games qualifies as an event that is covered is not clear yet.”
He was also asked about what would happen to the Olympic flame, which was taken off public display in Japan this week, but he made no comment.
There are suggestions the International Olympic Committee is thinking of taking the flame on a world tour to use it as a symbol of the battle against the coronavirus.
Nothing of course can happen until travel restrictions are lifted, but there have been some concerns that taking the flame away from Japan could also upset the host nation.