Japan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stood firm this Friday in their commitment to host the Tokyo Olympics this year and denied a report of a possible cancellation, but the promise seems unlikely to calm public concern about the event during a pandemic, according to a Reuters report published today.
Although much of Japan is in a state of emergency due to a third wave of infections by Covid-19, Tokyo Olympics organizers have pledged to proceed with the rescheduled Games, which are due to start on July 23 after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus.
According to Reuters, a government spokesman said "there is no truth" in a report in the British Times newspaper that the government concluded that the Games would have to be canceled.
The Times, citing an unidentified senior member of Japan's ruling wing, said the government's focus now is on securing the Tokyo Games in the next available year, 2032.
"We clearly deny the report," said deputy chief of staff, Manabu Sakai, at a news conference.
Later, the head of Japan's Olympic Committee, Yasuhiro Yamashita, told Reuters that the report was false and that it was "an invention".
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said there was no talk about the cancellation or postponement of the Olympics and that a protest should be made against the Times report.
The Games organizing committee also denied the report, saying in a statement that its partners, including the government and the IOC, were "fully focused" on hosting the games as scheduled.
"It is very disappointing to see that the Times is developing a tabloid-like story with an unreliable source," an organizing committee source told Reuters.
Let us also remember that IOC President Thomas Bach had already said that it was false to say that this year's Olympic Games were going to be canceled. See here the news published yesterday.