Tokyo, April 15 2021: Toshihiro Nikai, who is a prominent member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic party, said the Tokyo Olympics may have to be cancelled if the rise in corona virus cases cannot be controlled.
Nikai said, “We need to cancel without hesitation if it’s no longer possible,” “If infections spread because of the Olympics, I don’t know what the Olympics is for,” added Nikai, who is the Liberal Democratic Party’s secretary general and second most powerful figure.
The comments by the Secretary General of the ruling party were reportedly made during the recording of a television programme. He discussed the Olympics saying, “It’s important for Japan to foster excitement with support from the public, and it’s an opportunity and we definitely want to make it a success,” but warned that “there are many issues to solve.”
The countdown to the games is now in double figures, as the pandemic-postponed Games are set to open on July 23, amid rising concern in Japan about a spike in virus cases. A record number of infections have been reported in Osaka in recent days, and the government has been forced to authorize new restrictions just weeks after lifting a virus state of emergency. This spike has already forced the Olympic torch relay which commenced in Fukushima, off public roads in Osaka, while other cities announce they will cancel the public ceremony.
The Olympic organizers meanwhile insist the Games can be held safely and have released virus rule-books to allay public fears and referred to the other sporting events continuing in Japan. Though public polls favour a cancellation or postponement.
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