It may be looking like a hundred-to-one shot, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has insisted the country will host this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games “without problem as planned”.
Speaking at a press conference Saturday (14 Mar), Abe refused to waver from the stance adopted by Japanese officials and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Tokyo 2020 will take place as scheduled.
The Greek leg of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay was cancelled, while numerous events, including Olympic qualifiers and test events, have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
But Tokyo 2020 and the IOC have repeatedly insisted the Olympics will open as planned on 24 July 2020.
Abe said Japan, which has reported just under 800 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths, did not need to declare a national emergency.
Any decision on a possible cancellation or postponement of Tokyo 2020 rests with the IOC.
IOC President Thomas Bach said last week that the organisation would follow WHO advice on Tokyo 2020.