Tokyo Olympics 2020: US President Joe Biden backs Japan PM Yoshihide Suga on holding 'safe and secure' Games
The Tokyo Games are due to open in July, with only Japanese spectators in the stands, after already being postponed by a year due to the pandemic.
Hashimoto acknowledged Nikai's concern and suggested it was probably shared by the Japanese public. Polls show as many as 80% in Japan oppose holding the Olympics during the pandemic.
With 100 days to go until the opening ceremony on 23 July, AFP chronicles Tokyo's troubled journey to the Games.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: North Korea won't participate in Games over COVID-19 fears, says country's sports ministry
The North's official KCNA news agency had previously carried a dispatch on the committee meeting, without mentioning the Olympic decision.
The coronavirus caseload has been on the rise in the country with more than 70,000 new infections reported in the country on Thursday.
Despite the warnings, the Japanese government and Tokyo Olympics organisers remain determined to go ahead with the Games.
Social distancing, mask-wearing and limited crowds that are prohibited from loud cheering will be the order when the relay starts from Fukushima prefecture.
The torch relay will begin in Fukushima prefecture, which last week marked the 10th anniversary of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that left 18,500 dead or missing.
Around 11,000 athletes are expected at the Tokyo Olympics and 3,000 at the Beijing Games, with 4,000 and around 500 for the respective Summer and Winter Paralympics.
Some 62 million people in the United States have received one or more doses of the vaccine, about 19 percent of the adult population, while the White House has targeted inoculating the adult population of 270 million people by May.
Here's a look at the strict entry protocols for the current handful of travellers coming into Japan, and what could happen with athletes during the Olympic Games.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Games will happen 'however coronavirus evolves', says organising committee chief
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to announce a month-long extension of a virus state of emergency later Tuesday - meaning the measure will run until 7 March in Tokyo and several other parts of the country.
In a letter to Team USA athletes posted on the US Olympic website, US Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief Sarah Hirshland warned competitors to be adaptable and open to making sacrifices
The artistic swimming event will double as the sport's final qualifier for the virus-postponed Games. It was due to be held on 4-7 March in Tokyo but will now take place two months later.
Gates, whose foundation has donated $1.75 billion towards efforts to fight Covid-19, told Kyodo that the next few months would be crucial for the postponed 2020 Games.
Organisers and the International Olympic Committee are finally going public with their planning, hoping to push back against reports the Olympics will be cancelled
Organisers of the virus-postponed 2020 Games, denying cancellation is on the cards, have floated the possibility of holding competitions behind closed doors.
Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, "to encourage you to consider relocating the 2021 Olympics from Tokyo, Japan to the United States of America, and more specifically to Florida."
While vaccination programmes are kicking into gear around the globe, they are still focusing on those facing the highest risk, so the question of whether elite athletes should be a priority is, for now, awkward.
Tokyo Olympics get underway in exactly six months from today, on 23 July, but the future remains unclear owing to the pandemic situation.