While addressing the National Diet (Japan’s Parliament), Hashimoto said that Japan’s agreement with the IOC could potentially allow for the Games to be postponed to later in the year.
She said, “The IOC has the right to cancel the games only if they are not held during 2020”, adding that “this can be interpreted to mean the games can be postponed as long as they are held during the calendar year”.
In a statement issued today, the Executive Board of the IOC have “expressed its full committment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, taking place from 24 July to 9 August 2020”.
A joint task force comprised of the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the city of Tokyo, the Japanese Government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) was set up in February to support Tokyo’s plans of hosting a “safe and secure Games”.
The IOC also stated it will “continue to follow the advice of WHO” and “encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Games” as planned.
Other pre-Olympic events have already been cancelled
Today’s announcement comes after two pre-Olympic trial meets in Japan, which were scheduled for early March, were cancelled.
Yesterday, SwimSwam reported that the Paralympic Swimming Trials in Japan had also been cancelled, which was set to be the main selection meet for the Paralympic team.
As of publishing there are 92,220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, 274 of which are in Japan.