Japan's Olympic minister says the Tokyo 2020 Games could be postponed from the summer until later in the year amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.
Responding to a question in Japan's parliament, Seiko Hashimoto noted that Tokyo's contract with the IOC calls for the Games to be held within 2020 which could be interpreted as allowing a postponement.
"It only says "if the Games are not to be held within 2020 (IOC has a right to cancel the Games)". It depends on how this is interpreted, but it can be read as (allowing) a postponement within 2020."
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are due to be held from July 24th to the August 9st.
Under the hosting agreement the right to cancel the Games remains with the IOC.
IOC president Thomas Bach, however, said his organisation remains confident regarding the success of the Games in Tokyo.
"Following a very comprehensive discussion today in the executive board the IOC remains fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. There is a task force in place we remain very confident with regard to the success of these Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."
With 600-thousand visitors expected from all corners of the world, the COVID-19 outbreak has raised doubts about whether the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will go ahead or not.
However, the head of the World Health Organization said it was too early to make any decisions on the matter.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.