COVID-19, News & Updates

Japan Olympic Minister: ‘We have to hold the Games at any cost’

September 8, 2020

Japan’s Olympic Minister, Seiko Hashimoto, said on Tuesday that the rearranged Tokyo Games must be held ‘at any cost’ in the year 2021.

At a news conference, Hashimoto said the Games should be held for the athletes’ benefit, nevertheless considering the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The unprecedented decision has been delivered in March to postpone the Games, originally scheduled to begin in July, until 2021 because of the virus.

‘Everyone involved with the Games is working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts towards next year,’ Hashimoto stated during a news conference.

‘I think we have to hold the Games at any cost,’ she added.

‘I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.’

The officials from the Japanese government, the local Tokyo government, and the Olympics consolidating committee met last week to pawn the Games’ coronavirus.

In an interview in July, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said that the organizers were preparing to host the Games next year even if the global coronavirus pandemic hasn’t lessened significantly.

The organizers are now reviewing over 200 proposals about how best to deal with the virus; this includes travel restrictions for foreign athletes, anti-virus measures at the Athlete’s Village, and handling spectators.

On a regular press briefing last Tuesday, Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya was not as confident as Hashimoto about next year’s Games but declared that things were moving in the right direction.

The organizers were exhilarated that sports events were being held successfully worldwide in the past few months. There was the possibility of more fans allowed for Japanese baseball and soccer games, he further added.

The Olympic Flame, now in Tokyo

‘This has been a big, big encouragement for the staff members of Tokyo 2020,’ said Takaya.

‘We feel that is another step towards … where we can see sports in action in our society.’

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