Tokyo Olympics 2020: Organisers say Summer Games 'safe and secure' despite COVID-19 emergency
Japan has ordered a state of emergency for Tokyo and the surrounding areas until next month due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Tokyo Olympics organisers insisted on Friday that the coronavirus -postponed Games will still go ahead despite Japan declaring a state of emergency less than 200 days before the opening ceremony.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday announced the month-long measure covering the greater Tokyo area, taking effect from Friday, as the country battles a surge in infections.
Tokyo 2020 chiefs have already said that another postponement of the Games — set to begin on 23 July — is out of the question.
And they insisted on Friday that the emergency would not derail plans.
"This declaration of emergency offers an opportunity to get the COVID-19 situation under control and for Tokyo 2020 to plan for a safe and secure Games this summer, and we will proceed with the necessary preparations accordingly," organisers said in a statement.
Suga said Thursday that Japan is committed to holding a "safe and secure" Olympics, and that he believes public mood will change when the country begins vaccinations, currently scheduled for late next month.
International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told the BBC he could not "be certain" the Games will go ahead, because "the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus".
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Tokyo Olympics 2020: With Six months to go for rescheduled start, cancellation fears cloud the Games
Six months before the rescheduled start, victory over the virus remains distant, and fears are growing rapidly that the Games may not take place at all.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has vowed to get the pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympics this summer with ample coronavirus protection.
"Given the coronavirus situation, anything can happen," Kono, a high-profile former foreign and defence minister, told a press briefing.