Japan Picks Up Olympic Committee Baton, Keeps Planning for Games

Japan Picks Up Olympic Committee Baton, Keeps Planning for Games

(Bloomberg) — Japan’s Olympics organizers will continue with preparations for the Tokyo Games this summer, emboldened by the International Olympic Committee’s statement that the games will go ahead as planned in an “unprecedented situation.”

“The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will continue to work closely with the IOC and other stakeholders at home and abroad to prepare for games that will be safe,” the group said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

Sporting events in the U.S., Japan and other countries have been called off, delayed or held without spectators because of the coronavirus outbreak, and broader lockdowns have shut down businesses and social activity. That’s raised questions as to whether it’s prudent or safe to hold the Summer Games, which bring together hundreds of thousands of athletes, officials and spectators. Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began to shift his messaging on the games, in a sign he may have accepted that a delay might be inevitable.

“The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage,” the International Olympic committee said in a statement Wednesday, while acknowledging that the situation is changing “day-by-day.”

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