Tokyo 2020 Olympic, Olympic rings
Photo: Unsplash/Ryunosuke Kikuno 

Japan still determined to host Tokyo Olympics despite Covid-19 setbacks

A scaled down event could still be in the cards for summer 2021

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

Despite much speculation in the midst of a second state of emergency, Japan remains adamant in holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer. According to The Japan Times, on Sunday January 17, government officials reaffirmed their commitment to the ongoing preparations for the upcoming games, dismissing claims that they could be cancelled after being postponed for a year. 

The newspaper quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary, Katsunobu Kato, as saying ‘we have decided on the venues and schedule (for the games), and the people involved are working on preparations including infection control’. The response was likely prompted by a different quote published by Reuters in which minister Taro Kono suggested that the games ‘could go either way’ in terms of the possibility of cancellation. 

With Japan scheduled to start its Covid-19 vaccination programme by the end of February, Prime Minister Suga has also expressed determination to host the games. However, arrangements are still being made for events to be scaled down this summer to minimise risks. Yomiuri Shimbun has recently reported that 6,000 athletes will be expected to participate in the opening ceremony, roughly half of the normal number of participants. 

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