THE Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be difficult to hold in summer 2021 without a vaccine against coronavirus, the head of Japan’s medical association has warned.
“My opinion is that it will be hard to host them unless an effective vaccine is developed,” Yoshitake Yokokura, said at an online press briefing on Tuesday.
“I am not saying that Japan should or shouldn’t host the Olympics,” he commented, but made the point that even if coronavirus is under control in the host nation by 2021, “it will still be difficult to hold the games unless the pandemic is over in the rest of the world.”
Yokokura urged developers to “step up the pace in (producing) treatments and vaccine.”
But he did not specify whether the association would oppose hosting the games if there is still no vaccine.
Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as it stands is scheduled to get underway in July next year.
In an interview with Nikkan Sports, head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee Yoshiro Mori said the Games in the Japanese capital could not be further postponed and would be “scrapped” if they cannot take place in 2021.
But he also made it clear the organisers are working towards staging the event as currently planned.
“This Olympics would be much more valuable than any Olympics in the past if we could go ahead with it after winning this battle,” he commented.
“We have to believe this, otherwise our hard work and efforts will not be rewarded.”