The Tokyo Olympics, delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, could now start in July next year, NHK reported.
The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organisers are planning to set the opening date on July 23, 2021, and the closing date on Aug. 8, NHK said Sunday, citing sources it didn’t identify.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach agreed to put off the Tokyo Games for about a year, the first postponement since the modern games began in the 19th century. The delay compounded economic concerns for Japan, and Abe on Saturday said he plans to submit an extra budget to help fund a stimulus package, which would include cash handouts for citizens and small businesses in need.
Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, earlier said that the date would be finalised as soon as this week.
International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound added to the drumbeat last Monday,told USA Today that the decision to push back the July-August event had been made but the committee hadn’t announced a delay yet.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in an interview with the newspaper. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Prime Minister Abe told Parliament Monday that the Olympics will have to be postponed if safety can’t be guaranteed for spectators and athletes due to the pandemic.