Preparations for Olympic Games continue in Japan despite coronavirus
TOKYO – Preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer are proceeding as usual despite the coronavirus risk, a Japanese government spokesman said Friday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confidence in Japan's handling of the Sars-CoV-2 agent, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo.
It will coordinate closely with the International Olympic Committee, the organizing committee and the Tokyo city government as the host. the spokesman added.
Preparations for the games, scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, will continue, Suga said.
Tokyo organizers had stressed last week that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China will not affect the schedules of this year's Olympics.
But organizers of current sporting events in Japan are taking precautions.
After the organizers of the Tokyo marathon recently decided that only top athletes, but not amateurs, will be allowed to participate this year, the same has now been decided for the women's marathon in Nagoya.
The city marathon in Nagoya was cancelled entirely.
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato called on event organizers to rethink their plans. However, the government has not demanded an across-the-board cancellation of events.
After discussions with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Olympic Committee is convinced that the Tokyo Olympics do not have to be canceled or relocated due to the coronavirus.
John Coates, chair of the IOC Coordinating Commission, said last week that "the games will be played in a way that is safe for athletes and spectators."
The head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yoshiro Mori, said a week ago that planning would not be affected by the new lung disease.
The games have the slogan "United by Emotion". The motto emphasizes the power of sport to bring people from different backgrounds together, according to the organizing committee.dpa