Plans for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games are growing more uncertain by the day.

As coronavirus cases rise throughout Japan and in several large countries in Europe and the Americas, officials both in Tokyo and with the International Olympic Committee have begun to acknowledge that holding a safe games might not be possible, endangering dreams that the Olympics could serve as a global celebration of the pandemic's end.

Instead, the IOC may be forced to cancel the Olympics for the first time since World War II. That would be a huge financial blow to both the Olympic organization and Japan, which has spent more than $12 billion building stadiums and improving its infrastructure to prepare for the games, and billions more to delay the event by a year.