Say what? 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, reports Ryusei Takahashi.

The 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.

Osaka reported yet another record high of 1,208 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, while Tokyo confirmed 729 new cases, the first time the capital’s daily tally has topped 700 since Feb. 4. Four more prefectures are set to get access to extra powers to rein in infections from Tuesday, joining Osaka, Tokyo and five others already under the special measures.

Cancelling Tokyo Olympics over COVID-19 concerns remains a possibility: LDP's Nikai | CNA
Cancelling Tokyo Olympics over COVID-19 concerns remains a possibility: LDP’s Nikai | CNA

While travel into Japan remains severely restricted — last week, arrivals from three more countries and regions joined a list of 26 subject to strict COVID-19 quarantine measures — low-cost PCR testing services are proliferating as the travel industry desperately tries to get people moving.

But things are unlikely to really take off until people get their jabs. And that could take a while. But when injection day finally comes, you’ll want to be prepared. Luckily, there’s an article for that, packed with FAQs courtesy of Eriko Yamakuma.

Thursday’s (and last Thursday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (100 or over): Osaka 1,208 (905), Tokyo 729 (545), Hyogo 493 (311), Kanagawa 242 (175), Aichi 218 (144), Saitama 188 (154), Chiba 144 (94), Okinawa 134 (140), Fukuoka 109 (48), Kyoto 107 (83), Hokkaido 101 (79). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker