Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has proposed a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics during talks with the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.
Abe said they had established that cancelling the Games was out of the question, and that Bach had agreed “100%” that a postponement was the most appropriate response to the global disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We agreed that a postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators,” Abe told reporters shortly after his conversation with Bach, adding that the Games would be held by the summer of 2021.
Abe had said that postponement was unavoidable if the 2020 Games could not be held in a complete manner amid the coronavirus outbreak. Abe held talks with Bach after the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks, but this is now expected much sooner, possibly within days.