The fate of the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is apparently once again being questioned, according to reports that senior members of the Japanese government believe the games are “doomed”, and the focus should now be on securing the games for 2032, the next available year to be claimed.
UK newspaper The Times reports that the Tokyo Olympics have been canned by the Japanese Government behind closed doors, with an unnamed source saying they personally don’t believe the games will go ahead this year as planned.
“No one wants to be the first to say so,” the source said.
“But the consensus is that it’s too difficult. Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
This new claim goes against what International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said this week, confirming there is “no Plan B” for the Tokyo Olympics, and is determined the games will go ahead on July 21, 2021.
The ABC reported that Bach is adamant the summer games will happen, with “no reason whatsoever” to lead the committee to believe the Olympics cannot go ahead as planned.
“We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo,” he said.
“This is why there is no ‘Plan B’ and this is why we are fully committed to make these Games safe and successful.”
Reuters has also reported that according to recent opinion polls, around 80% of people in Japan don’t want the games to be held this year, fearing it will bring the virus to the country through visiting athletes.
It’s deeply unlikely that the summer Olympics will be postponed again due to the coronavirus pandemic, considering the 2022 Winter Olympics are locked in for Beijing, so it’s looking like it’ll either press ahead like the IOC believes or be cancelled entirely – if this new report citing a government insider is to be believed.
The IOC originally postponed the Tokyo Olympics in March last year, when the “unprecedented and unpredictable spread” of the COVID-19 outbreak had really begun to take effect on the world, and the World Health Organisation had deemed the pandemic was “accelerating”.
At the time, Thomas Bach and then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed the Olympics must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but no later than Japan’s summer in 2021.