In an interview with Japanese television channel TBS, Toshihiro Nikai said, “If that is no longer possible then we have to cancel (the game, editor’s note) without hesitation.”
Asked if canceling is an option, he replied: “Yes, absolutely”.
The General Secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, conservative) said, “If the infection is spreading due to the Olympics, I don’t know what they are for.”
However, he qualified his comment by emphasizing “the importance of Japan to create excitement with the support of the public”.
“We definitely want to make (the game, editor’s comment) a success. To achieve this, various issues have to be resolved. It is important to resolve them one by one.”
A short time later, an anonymous PLD officer was quoted by the Jeezy agency as saying: “The game will not be canceled”.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike interpreted Mr. Nicae’s remarks as “an option”, nothing more. “I take it as a strong message of encouragement that we have coronavirus in every way,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Japanese minister in charge of the vaccination campaign hoped to completely restrict audience access to the Games, while those planning from abroad were already banned last month.
“We will organize the Olympics in a way that is achievable,” Taro Kono was quoted as saying by the Asahi newspaper. “There can be no audience.”
The comments come 99 days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics (July 23 – August 8), which was postponed for a year in 2020 due to the epidemic.
As vaccination in Japan is moving at a snail’s pace (1.1 million people have received a dose of 126 million), the country is experiencing a fourth wave of infection that has recently led authorities to ban in several departments, including Tokyo Forced to apply.
The country on Wednesday registered more than 4,000 new cases of Kovid-19, a level that had not been seen in its territory since late January.
This new outbreak of Coronavirus is disrupting the calendar of some qualifying events for the Olympics as well as the Olympic Torch Relay, which began on 25 March.
On Wednesday, the city of Matsuyama in western Japan announced that it was canceling the relay game in its city. The Osaka (West) department also preferred to move Riley to a park closed to the public last week.
According to several surveys conducted in recent months, the Japanese are opposed to holding the Tokyo Olympics this summer due to health risks.
However, health professionals have warned of the risks associated with organizing the games. This week, four experts wrote in the British Medical Journal that the incident should be “urgently reviewed”.
He wrote, “International mass rally events like Tokyo-2020 are still not safe and secure.”
Despite this reluctance and hurdles, IOC Vice President John Coats said Wednesday that the organizers “certainly” do not consider canceling.
“Of course we are concerned, of course safety is our priority, but we believe that we are prepared for the worst conditions,” he said.