Tokyo Olympic head says not considering cancellation amid virus surge
TOKYO (Kyodo April 23, ) -- The president of this summer's Tokyo Olympic organizing committee said Friday that canceling the games is not being considered even as the Japanese government is set to declare a state of emergency for the capital due to a surge in coronavirus infections.
As Japan marked three months to go until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, Seiko Hashimoto told a press conference that the committee's priority is to prepare sufficient anti-virus measures so that the public can rest assured that the games can be held safely.
Earlier in the day, she said the committee will hold a high-level meeting next week with the International Olympic Committee and three other organizers to discuss domestic spectators.
Hashimoto also said the organizers plan to release next week the second version of the "playbook" COVID-19 guidelines for athletes.
Hashimoto has said she wants to agree on a basic policy regarding how many domestic spectators will be allowed to enter games venues by holding by the end of this month a five-party online meeting, which also involves the International Paralympic Committee, as well as the central and Tokyo metropolitan governments.
However, she suggested Wednesday that the organizers may not make a final decision on the issue of spectators until as late as June due to the need to monitor the situation of infections in Japan closely.
The five organizing bodies decided last month to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics without spectators from overseas as part of efforts to prevent the virus from spreading during the games.