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Japan eyes 2021 Olympics amid COVID-19 fears

By NewsDesk, with agency report

The Japanese Government has disclosed that plans are being concluded to ensure the Olympics games held in 2021 after the coronavirus outbreak forced  International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan government to postpone Tokyo Olympics earlier scheduled for 2020. 

It explained that the preparation had become imperative to eliminate all stumbling blocks and fears raised stakeholders over the viral pandemic and ensure the games begun on the opening date for the games in July next year.

Japan’s Olympic Minister, Seiko Hashimoto, said the country was hoping to hold the games in line with the agreement reached during final stage of talks in March after the Japanese government and IOC took the unprecedented decision to postpone the games, originally scheduled to begin in July 2020, until 2021 because of the virus.

Speaking during a news conference on Tuesday, Hashimoto suggested that the games should be held for the benefit of the athletes, regardless of the challenges posed by the deadly respiratory disease.

“Everyone involved with the Games is working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts toward next year.

“I think we have to hold the Games at any cost. I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus,” she said.

On his part, Tokyo 2020 Spokesman, Masa Takaya, assured that preparations and collaborations were moving in the right direction, saying continuation of games by other sports showed that the Olympics could hold successfully next year.

“Sports events were being held successfully around the world in recent months and also there is a possibility of more fans being allowed into stadiums for Japanese baseball and soccer games.

“This has been a big, big encouragement for the staff members of Tokyo 2020. We feel that is another step toward .where we can see sports in action in our society,” Takaya said.

Meanwhile, officials from the Japanese government, local Tokyo government, and the Olympics organizing committee met for the first time last week to develop steps to counter coronavirus at the games.

As stated, organizers were looking at over 200 proposals on how best to deal with the virus, including easing travel restrictions for foreign athletes, anti-virus measures at the Athletes’ Village, and how to handle spectators.

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