President of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Yoshiro Mori met Friday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the possibility of introducing daylight saving time during the 2020 Games as a countermeasure for extreme summer temperatures.
The discussion followed a decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow the marathon to be staged at 7 a.m. to lessen the likelihood of runners competing during Tokyo’s sweltering summer, which has already surpassed 40 degrees this year.
The former prime minister told reporters after the meeting that Abe said turning the clocks forward one or two hours during the games “may be one solution.”
The steps being mulled pose a stark contrast with the pitch drafted by the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, which under the heading “Ideal dates” described Tokyo’s weather from July 25 to Aug. 9 as having “many days of mild and sunny weather.”
It also added that “this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best.”
Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee, said such extreme heat had not been factored into the planning.
“We were working under the premise that temperatures wouldn’t exceed 40 degrees. We’ve now recognized how serious this is,” Muto said.
“If this should spur us on to create a society with lower carbon emissions, then that would become an important legacy of the event,” he said.