Following reports Thursday that, according to a senior government source in Japan, the Tokyo Olympics “were doomed”, Olympic and Japanese officials today vehemently denied the rumours as “categorically untrue”. IOC sources say they are planning for a “full” Olympic Games to begin in July.
In response to Thursday’s news reports, the Japanese government released a strongly worded statement Friday saying: “Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the government of Japan has privately concluded that the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will have to be cancelled. This is categorically untrue.”
It continued: “The renewed schedules and venues for the Tokyo 2020 Games, starting with the Opening Ceremony on 23 July this year, were determined at the IOC session in July last year. All parties involved are working together to prepare for the successful Games this summer.”
Tokyo 2020 organisers backed up the government’s message, insisting that work continues to deliver the games this summer. “Prime minister Suga has expressed his determination to hold the Games; the government is leading a series of coordination meetings for Covid-19 counter measures and is implementing thorough infection countermeasures in order to be able to hold the Games,” the organisers said in a statement.
“All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo metropolitan government, Tokyo 2020 organising committee, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer. We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure Games.”
The Tokyo metropolitan government said Friday there is “absolutely no truth” in the stories claiming Tokyo 2020 will not go ahead this summer.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said that “with the robust measures and plans we have in place, the Games can and will go ahead safely”.
The Olympics are due to start on 23 July followed by the Paralympics on 24 August.