Japan determined to host Olympics next year, says PM Yoshihide Suga

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Fireworks ignite over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at Olympic Park in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Tokyo, Sep 26 (IANS) Japan is determined to host the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2021 to prove that humanity has defeated the Covid-19 pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said.

“In the summer of next year, Japan is determined to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic,” Suga told the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

“I will continue to spare no effort in order to welcome you to Games that are safe and secure,” he added in a pre-recorded message.

Originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year, the Tokyo Olympics was in March postponed to 2021 due to the outbreak of coronavirus. It is now set to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has meanwhile stated that even though the availability of Covid-19 vaccines or rapid testing may not be a solution to conduct postponed Tokyo Olympics, they would be of great help in organising the event next year.

“They will not be the silver bullet but they can greatly facilitate the organisation of the games,” Bach had said earlier this month when asked about vaccines at a news conference after an IOC Board meeting.

The Tokyo Olympic organisers have announced several “simplification” changes for next year’s postponed games, though with few large-scale cost savings.

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