Japan's PM says impossible to hold Games if pandemic persists

Ruben Hill
April 30, 2020

In parliament on Thursday, Abe said the country's healthcare system continues to face an "extremely tough situation".

During the pandemic, Japan has recorded more than 13,000 Covid-19 infection cases and almost 400 deaths. "If such a problem as war occurs in the past, it is usually canceled", Yoshiro Mori, told Nikkan Sports.

"But we have had to unravel hundreds of contracts to see whether our infrastructure in country can be replicated in Tokyo 2021 and that's taken most of our time".

"This is a gamble for mankind".

The prime minister said yesterday that the Olympics "must be held in a way that shows the world has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic", and cautioned that Japan should "brace for a protracted battle".

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe said Tuesday in Parliament that promised the International Olympic Committee to bear the additional costs due to the transfer of the Olympics.

"My personal opinion is that if an effective vaccine has not been developed it will be hard to hold the Olympic Games", he said. Coates' words come after a statement earlier this week by the president of the Japan Medical Association that it would be "difficult" for the Games to go ahead with an effective vaccine.

He did not say whether he opposes the Olympics without vaccines.

Tokyo confirmed 47 new infections on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the health ministry reported 389 total deaths from the virus.

Previously due to military actions Olympiad was held in 1916 in Berlin, the 1940 Games in Tokyo and the Olympic games-1944 in London.

Three weeks ago the Executive Director of the organising Committee Toshiro muto also doubted that the Olympics will be held next year.

"I am very pessimistic about holding the Olympics Games next summer unless you hold the Olympic Games in a totally different structure such as no audience, or a very limited participation", said Kentaro Iwata, professor of infectious disease at Kobe University. Add to this thousands of world broadcasters, who pay billions for the rights to the Olympics - a critical element, particularly if the Olympics are held with limited numbers of spectators.

She said a vaccine was "optimistically 12 to 18 months away".

Rashid Khan and Udayan Mane may be the leaders from India in the race for the two Olympics spots, but the International Golf Federation's decision to extend the qualifying period for Tokyo Games has now opened the road for the likes of Shubhankar Sharma, Shiv Kapur and Anirban Lahiri.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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