Japanese Olympic Committee chief Yasuhiro Yamashita sent a message to his international counterparts Tuesday, telling them Tokyo is gradually resuming sporting activities as it emerges from the new coronavirus pandemic.
In an English memo to the presidents of national Olympic committees and sports federations, Yamashita said "we are slowly stepping out to restart our social lives, balancing preventative measures for COVID-19 with our daily activities."
The statement was sent by Yamashita and fellow International Olympic Committee member Morinari Watanabe as the host NOC of the postponed Tokyo Games on Olympic Day, which commemorates the founding of the IOC in 1894.
Yamashita explained the status of the National Training Center in Tokyo, used by top athletes in the country, that reopened on May 27 after Japan's coronavirus state of emergency was lifted earlier in the month.
The message also outlined the recent reopening of professional baseball behind closed doors, as well as the scheduled resumption of the J. League first division next month.
"The Japanese sports community is also slowly but firmly starting to move forward while evaluating the COVID-19 situation with utmost caution," the message said.
The JOC and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee are "advancing step by step toward the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," Yamashita said.
The Olympics and Paralympics, which were originally scheduled for this summer, were pushed back to next year after athletes and NOCs voiced fears over the virus, and a number of qualifying events had to be canceled.
The Olympics are now scheduled to take place between July 23 and Aug. 8, 2021, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
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