AGENCIES, Tokyo: With a whole lot of uncertainties being created by coronavirus scare all over globe, the focus is on Japan, the host country for the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic 2020.
It now transpires that the Japan contract has a provision that allows it to postpone the Games until the end of the year if required, Japan’s Olympics minister said on Tuesday.
“The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement,” Seiko Hashimoto said in response to a lawmaker’s question in parliament.
Despite global concern about coronavirus impacting the prestigious event, Japan’s government and host city Tokyo said they were still committed to hosting the Games. The event is due to begin on July 24. And under the hosting agreement, the right to cancel the Games belongs to the IOC, said the minister.
Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), added that preparations were still underway for a “successful” Games in Tokyo.
The latest budget for the event is $12.51 billion and Japan’s government is giving 120 billion yen to build the Olympic Stadium and 30 billion yen toward the cost of the 2020 Paralympics, Hashimoto said.
As a precautionary measure, Japan’s government has asked schools to close and encouraged the postponing of events, including sports meetings that usually attract large crowds.
Meanwhile, Japan Para Sports Association and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organisers said on Tuesday they would cancel a wheelchair rugby test event this month due to the coronavirus scare.