Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Thursday that canceling the Tokyo Games “is still an option,” a rare admission by a top official that has cast further doubt upon the postponed sporting event.

His remarks came as a surprise since public officials, organizers and stakeholders have been steadfast in their public support for holding the Summer Games in July despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“If it’s too difficult (to hold the games), they should be canceled,” Nikai said during an interview with TBS. “What is the point of the Olympics if it helps spread the virus further?”