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Japan pushing ahead with Olympics preparations despite COVID-19 surge Updated: 2021-01-22 15:04:25 KST

Japan has denied rumors that the summer Olympics in Tokyo will be canceled.

"We are determined to work closely together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, and the IOC to put on a safe and secure Olympics."

This comes after British newspaper the Times reported on Thursday, local time, that Japan had privately decided that the Games will have to be canceled due to COVID-19.
Japan has recently seen a surge in new cases of the virus, leading many to doubt the safety of holding such a large-scale event.
But experts say the Games are going ahead primarily because of the amount of money that has been spent.

"They're going ahead because Japan, the Japanese state, has already invested about $25 billion in it. On top of that, the International Olympic Committee gets 75% of its revenue from putting the Games on television. That could be $3 billion dollars from Tokyo."

The same expert also says that Japan will desperately want to avoid a scenario where it fails to host the Games, only for China to successfully hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, just six months later.
Despite Tokyo's insistence that the Games will go ahead, recent polls show roughly 80 percent of the Japanese public think the Olympics should be canceled or postponed.
Such uncertainty has athletes deeply concerned that they might not be able to compete on the grandest stage.

"Some of my seniors preparing for retirement after 2021 are very uneasy right now they know their Olympic dreams may be fading away."

South Korea's national Olympic body, the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, is currently assembling its many national teams, assuming the Tokyo Games WILL be held come July 23rd.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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