The Olympic Games are due to take place in Tokyo this summer (illustration).


Keita Iijima / AP / SIPA

Is Japan going to let go of its Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic?

Officially, no.

The Prime Minister as well as the organizers of the event reaffirmed Friday their intention to hold the Olympic Games this summer.

"I am determined" to host a "safe" Olympic Games in Tokyo, as a sign of "humanity's victory over the novel coronavirus," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a parliamentary session.

In a statement, the Tokyo-2020 organizing committee also recalled Friday that it was "fully focused" on the preparations to host the Olympics (July 23-August 8), in unison with the Japanese government and the city ​​of Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Goodbye 2021, hello 2032?

According to the British newspaper

The Times

, which quoted a source within the ruling coalition in Japan on Thursday, the government has already secretly declared the impossibility of organizing the Olympic Games this year, due to the global upsurge of the coronavirus, including in Japan.

To save face, the government would seek to ensure beforehand that Tokyo organizes the 2032 Olympics, the next available edition (after Paris-2024 and Los Angeles-2028).

Deputy Japanese government spokesperson Manabu Sakai said there was "nothing true" about the Times article, and in Sydney Australian Olympic Committee boss Matt Carroll called "a rumor. unfounded ”information on a cancellation of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“These will be very different Games, with a focus on the athletes and their competitions,” said Carroll.


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