Japan’s Olympic Minister is optimistic that the Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead in 2021, even if the pandemic is still widespread. The 2020 Summer Games were postponed due to COVID-19, with much speculation as to whether they will still go ahead next year. It seems that the Olympic Committee is confident that they will.
The Japan Times reports that in a news conference on Tuesday, Hashimoto said, “I think we have to hold the games at any cost. I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.”
International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates shares the same sentiment. Telling AFP News that the Games will go ahead regardless, he says that they will be the “Games that conquered Covid”.
Tokyo Olympic Games Will Happen in 2021 ‘With or Without COVID’, says Committee
“It will take place with or without Covid. The Games will start on July 23 next year,” said Coates.
The 2020 Olympics are now due to open on July 23rd, 2021. However, with Japan’s borders still shut to foreign visitors and no vaccine in sight, the future for the Games is uncertain. Will tourists flock to the stadiums?
Japanese officials are currently working on a plan to keep athletes and attendees safe during the Games. This includes testing protocols, rules of behavior in the Olympic Village, rules for audience members, and how to control any potential outbreaks.
A recent poll reports that just 23.9% people in Japan want the Games to go ahead next year. Most respondents are backing either another postponement or a cancellation.