Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

18.42 26 May 2021


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Tokyo Olympics chief Toshiro Muto has dismissed suggestions that this summer's Games could be cancelled due to public opposition.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, an official partner of the Games, today called for Tokyo 2020 to be called off in the interest of public safety.

With Japan's capital in a state of emergency, the editorial argued it would put extra strain on hospitals as the country struggles to contain the latest wave of coronavirus.

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Recent polls show that as many as 83 per cent of people in Japan do not want the Games to be held but Muto says there's a determination to host the Olympics.

"There has been some feedback pertaining to a potential cancellation or postponement but nobody has explicitly mentioned a view that we should cancel or postpone the Games," he said.

"Rather the board members mentioned that Tokyo 2020 has made an effort to come this far. Things are properly being managed.

"We as board members understand that we need to communicate that to Japanese people in the general public. We need to be more mindful in how we can communicate what you are doing to those outside Tokyo 2020."

 Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA

"Different press organisations have different perspectives on matters and that's very natural given their role in the society," Muto added.

"In order for us to hold Olympic and Paralympic Games, we in Tokyo 2020 and the people of Japan are maximising the effort to contain the pandemic of Covid-19. If we fail to do that then people will feel anxious, be worried.

"National governments and local governments are ensuring they have all initiatives in place to contain the pandemic.

"We believe these initiatives will bear fruit and be effective, so that the situation around infection will improve towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games, that's our thought."

 


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