Japan PM Suga 'determined' to hold Olympics despite pandemic

Japan PM Suga 'determined' to hold Olympics despite pandemic

Friday, September 25, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

UNITED NATIONS,United States(AFP)— Japan is "determined" to host the postponed Olympic Games in 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic, the country's newly elected prime minister told the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

"In the summer of next year, Japan is determined to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic," Yoshihide Suga said in his first international address since taking office last week.

"I will continue to spare no effort in order to welcome you to Games that are safe and secure," added Suga in the video message.

The march of the coronavirus around the globe forced the historic decision to delay the Games earlier this year.

But with continued spikes in infection worldwide, there are ongoing questions about whether the event will be possible next year.

Organizers and Olympic officials have insisted the Games will go on, with International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates saying Friday "this has to happen," citing athletes who would be devastated by a cancellation.

But medical experts have warned that the massive international event could be difficult to hold if the pandemic is not under control by next summer.

And enthusiasm for the Games appears to have waned in Japan, with polls over the summer finding just one in four Japanese want to see them happen, and most backing either a further postponement or outright cancellation.

Organizers and officials are discussing a long and complex list of possible coronavirus countermeasures that they hope will make it possible to hold the Games, even if a vaccine is not available.

These are expected to include rigorous and repeated testing of athletes, and potentially mandatory vaccinations, if a vaccine is available by then.

The postponement has also created a variety of logistical headaches and extra costs.

Organizers are combing through hundreds of proposed cost-saving measures, including potentially scaling back the traditionally flashy opening and closing ceremonies.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon