IOC reaffirms commitment to host Tokyo 2020 this summer amid speculations

2021-01-12 12:06:15

Visitors wearing protective face masks pose for a photo through the Olympic rings in front of the National Stadium, a day before the start of the one-year countdown to the Tokyo Olympics that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan July 22, 2020. [Photo/Agencies] BEIJING - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated its confidence in the host of the Tokyo 2020 and reaffirmed the joint effort to host the Games in an e-mail interview with Xinhua on Monday. Dick Pound, the longest-serving IOC member, told UK's state broadcaster BBC on Friday that the Tokyo Olympic Games might not take place. Doubts mounted later as a poll by Kyodo news agency revealed on Sunday that 80 percent of the surveyed believed the Tokyo Games, which has already been postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, should be cancelled or postponed again. When asked about the IOC's comment on whether there will be a further postponement or cancellation, the organization's spokesperson responded: "The IOC has full confidence in the Japanese authorities and the measures they are taking. Together with our Japanese partners, we continue to be fully concentrated and committed to the safe and successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this summer." Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared on Jan 7 a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures to Feb 7, authorizing tougher measures to fight a resurgence in COVID-19 infections and promising to host a "safe and secure" Olympics as scheduled. IOC vice president Yu Zaiqing told Xinhua on Friday that the IOC and its Japanese partners' determination to host the Tokyo Games as scheduled remains unchanged. The postponed Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.