Japanese Prime Minister says postponing Tokyo Olympics may be an option in light of COVID-19 outbreak
Updated: 2020-03-23 17:05:50 KST
As the world struggles to get a handle on the COVID-19 outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has admitted that postponing the Tokyo Olympics may have to become an option.
He told Japan's parliament on Monday that postponement may be inevitable if the event cannot be held in its "complete form".
"The decision of IOC is in line with what I just said, to hold the event in a complete form. If that becomes difficult, we will think of the athletes first and foremost, we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games."
But he said canceling the event outright is not an option.
On Sunday,.. the IOC held an emergency meeting to step up its "scenario planning" for the Tokyo Olympics.
According to the committee, the most likely scenario would be to change the July 24th start date, but emphasized that a full cancellation would "not solve any of the problems".
The IOC says that, in full coordination with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, it will assess the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Games, and announce its decision in the next four weeks.
Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said the IPC fully supports the IOC's decision to look into postponement.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee have stated they won't send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics if the Games start as scheduled.
Australia's Olympic Committee said it expects the Olympics to be moved to 2021.
"Combined with the decision of the International Olympic Committee, we've decided to plan towards the hosting of the Games in 2021 in Tokyo."
The Australian Olympic Committee's CEO added that he understands that it is a situation that the IOC, the Japanese government and the organizing committee will look at in the near future.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.