Japanese Prime Minister Abe says postponing Olympics an option

Other News Materials 23 March 2020 08:48 (UTC +04:00)
Japanese Prime Minister Abe says postponing Olympics an option

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the Parliament on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games could be postponed due to the global spread of coronavirus, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

It is the first time for the Prime Minister to announce that the Games, which currently was scheduled on July 24, might be put off under mounting pressure from sports organizations around the world.

"If it is difficult to hold the games in such a way, we have to decide to postpone it, giving top priority to (the health of the) athletes," Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted him as saying.

But Abe stressed that the Games will by no means be cancelled.

"Cancellation is not an option," Abe said.

IOC president Thomas Bach said on Sunday in an open letter to athletes that the IOC will "start detailed discussions" with the Tokyo 2020 and Japanese government to "complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement."

"The IOC is confident that it will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks," Bach said.

Bach emphasized that "cancellation is not on the agenda".