Nobody wants to see Oly held behind closed doors, says Tokyo 2020 spokesman

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, Aug 4 (IANS) Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya on Tuesday did not rule out the possibility of hosting the postponed Olympic Games behind closed doors while insisting that nobody wants to see the games without spectators.

Japan’s JIJI Press last week quoted an unnamed Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive, who is “close” to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as saying that the games “should definitely take place, even without spectators”.

Takaya told reporters at a news conference that “such a topic related to the countermeasures of COVID-19 has to be addressed after thorough discussions among the key parties — the national government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and Tokyo 2020 organising committee”, reports Xinhua news agency.

“This autumn onwards, we will have a meeting body attended by these three parties, so we will see the outcome of this meeting body.”

IOC President Thomas Bach said in July that the IOC is opposed to staging events without fans.

“He (Bach) is not willing to see the games without spectators,” Takaya said. “Tokyo 2020 is not willing to see the games without spectators either. So no one is willing to see the games without spectators. In this respect, we will keep monitoring the situation carefully of COVID-19 then we will have thorough discussions among key parties to deliver a safe and secure games next year.”

Tokyo 2020 will start discussing “concretely and thoroughly” countermeasures against COVID-19 this autumn onwards, he said, adding, “In the meantime, we don’t have any deadline to decide how the games will be organised”.

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