At the same time, the Japanese Prime Minister rules out the complete cancellation of the competition.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo may have to be postponed if the competition cannot be held “in full” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Abe allowed this development in his speech to Parliament on Monday, but ruled out the possibility of a complete cancellation of the Games, which are scheduled for July 24 – August 9 this year.
Abe’s statement came a day after the International Olympic Committee announced that it would study the situation in the next few weeks and discuss the necessary next steps, including a possible postponement of the Olympics by a few weeks or even a year. The IOC also refuses to consider canceling the Games altogether.
The IOC has been sharply criticized by well-known Olympic athletes for their determination to hold the competition in Tokyo within the planned period. The pressure increased on Sunday when the Canadian Olympic Committee announced it would not send its athletes to Tokyo.
As of Sunday, more than 1,700 cases of COVID-19 infection were reported in Japan, including more than 700 cases from a cruise ship that was quarantined in the Tokyo area in February. More than 30 patients died.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced Olympic associations around the world to postpone or cancel qualifying events before the Tokyo Games, which has affected the training schedule of athletes.