• Jiji


Canceling or scaling down the Tokyo Olympics is no longer an option, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike suggested Friday, a day after games organizers agreed to hold the games mostly without spectators.

“We’ll focus on discussing the spectator issue” if the pandemic situation in the host city worsens further, Koike told a news conference.

“It’s extremely important to hold the games safely and securely,” Koike said. “We share the same hope with the International Olympic Committee, the national government and other parties concerned.”

The governor expressed the view that people will be able to feel a sense of togetherness by watching the games on television. “We hope to hold the games as if 7 billion people around the globe are spectators,” she said.

There remain calls, including from the Tokyo Medical Association, to consider canceling the Tokyo Games, which are slated to start later this month, if it is hard to prevent infections from spreading and avoid straining medical services.

Koike, meanwhile, suggested that the Tokyo Paralympics could be held with spectators, depending on the pandemic situation.

How many spectators will be allowed in each Paralympic venue will be determined after the Olympics.

The Paralympics “will be a big legacy for Tokyo if we can move on together with many people,” Koike said.

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