Japan’s Olympic minister, Seiko Hashimoto, says the Tokyo 2020 Games could be postponed from the summer until later in the year amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.
The contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) calls for the Games to be held within 2020. Therefore, the Games could be moved to later on in the year without the IOC having the right to step in and cancel the event.
Hashimoto added that, “We are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned,”
The Games are due to be held from 24 July to 9 August.
Japan has already cancelled or only allowed some events to continue behind closed doors, including baseball, football and Sumo.
Under the hosting agreement the right to cancel the Games remains with the IOC, but apparently only if they cannot be held in 2020.
The IOC executive board met in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday and in a statement “expressed its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 taking place from 24 July to 9 August”.
An additional point of confusion was added to the decision making by the revelation that Japan has been under-reporting their contagion numbers.
World Sailing has not updated the position of the various Olympic Classes sailing regattas and World Cup Series events due to take place over the coming months in Europe and Japan.
Just last week World Sailing issued a statement that they intended to continue to hold the World Cup Series Final in Japan in June.
Also waiting for confirmation of the status of their events are the four teams involved in the America’s Cup World Series, who have pre-events scheduled in Sardinia and Portsmouth UK in the coming months.
The U.S. State Department is reported to have put Japan under a level 2 travel “alert,” which means people should “practice enhanced precautions” when considering traveling there.