A Japanese lawyer who launched a popular online petition calling for the cancellation of this summer's Olympics on Friday urged the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to call off the games, saying protecting people's lives from the coronavirus must be the top priority.

Kenji Utsunomiya, who on May 5 launched the online campaign that has so far gathered 350,000 signatures, said Japan and the rest of the world are not ready to stage the Olympics and Paralympics due to the global health crisis.

"Holding the Olympics should be welcomed by everyone, but that is not possible under the current situation. So the Olympics must be canceled," Utsunomiya, former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, told reporters after handing over the request addressed to Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.