• Kyodo

  • SHARE

Plans are afoot to hold Sports Day in July instead of October in 2020 to ease traffic congestion on the first day of the Olympics, sources with knowledge of the plan said.

The national holiday falls on the second Monday of October. Changing the date to July 24 for 2020 will require lawmakers to revise the law.

With numerous heads of state and dignitaries set to attend the opening ceremony on July 24, the heavy security and traffic measures are expected to disrupt transport throughout the capital.

To make matters worse, the opening ceremony will be held on a Friday, when traffic congestion typically grows.

The sources said Sunday that by holding Sports Day on the same day as the Olympics, organizers hope to reduce potential concern about such issues.

If the plan materializes, Tokyo will follow in the footsteps of Rio de Janeiro, which gave the public four extra days off around the opening ceremony for the 2016 games last summer.

Sports Day was originally created to commemorate Tokyo’s last Olympics, which opened on Oct. 10, 1964. Monday marked exactly three years until the launch of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.