Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned Monday the possibility of postponing the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics for the first time in an official setting. In fact, a postponement seems to be in the offing with the International Olympic Committee, an organization with the final say on this decision, and Japan both speaking of the possibility of postponement. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have declared to boycott the Tokyo Olympics should it be held in July as scheduled.
“The IOC’s judgment is in the same vein as mine that the Games should be implemented in an integral form,” said the Japanese prime minister on Monday during a budget meeting about the IOC’s announcement that it is reviewing measures including the postponement of the games. “If it cannot be integral, then I cannot help but consider a delay as athletes are the top priority,” added Abe. Experts say that the remark is an official expression of his intention to delay the games.
In a Sunday statement, the IOC said it will start detailed discussions including the scenario of postponement with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Japanese authorities, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, adding that the discussions will be finalized within the next four weeks. This means that the final decision will be made in April. The IOC made it clear that cancellation is not on the agenda.
“There are many tasks to be tackled, but we will have discussions with the IOC and the organizing committee for the next four months to decide which scenario would be possible,” said Tokyo Mayor Yuriko Koike in a press conference on Monday. “I think the expression (postponement) might be brought up in the process.”
On Sunday, the Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement that it made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020." The Olympic committees of New Zealand and Australia have also announced a statement that they will boycott the Tokyo Olympic Games if they are not postponed.
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