On Friday, the Times of London reported, citing an unnamed senior member of the ruling coalition, that Japanese authorities had privately concluded that the Olympics could not continue due to the ongoing pandemic. CNN has not independently verified this report, which Tokyo officials were quick to reject.
In a statement, Tokyo 2020 organizers said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had expressed his determination to hold the Games and that meetings continued to ensure they could continue while implementing thorough infection control measures and other measures due to the pandemic. .
“All of our delivery partners including the National Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, IOC and IPC are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer,”
Suga told parliament Friday morning that the games “will be a symbol of humanity’s overcoming the new coronavirus and a chance to showcase Japan’s reconstruction from the devastating (2011) earthquake and tsunami to the world.”
“We are determined to work closely with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the IOC to realize a safe and secure Olympics,” Suga said.
Other Olympic officials were also quick to deny the Times’ allegations.
“Unfortunately, I have to address the unfounded rumor that the Tokyo Games will be canceled,” Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll told reporters on Friday. “Incorrect rumors are creating more anxiety for athletes in our sports. The Tokyo Games are underway. The flames will be lit on July 23, 2021. This has just been confirmed again by the Japanese Prime Minister this afternoon.”
In a Twitter thread, Canadian Olympic chief David Shoemaker said his team was “unaware of any decision made by the Japanese government, as reported.”
“The Canadian Olympic Committee is confident that the Games can be held safely and successfully, given what has been learned in sports over the last many months and the emphasis that the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have placed on Covid. -19 countermeasures, ”he said. “We continue our preparation to participate in Tokyo 2020 with a focus on the health and safety of our athletes, their families and their communities.”