Tokyo denies discussions on a cancellation of the Olympics

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The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have denied holding discussions in February about a possible cancellation of the Olympics scheduled for July, after their postponement last year due to the pandemic.

In a speech to Tokyo-2020 staff, organizing committee general manager Toshiro Muto called “false information” Japanese media speculations that the fate of the Olympics should be discussed in February with the International Olympic Committee. (CIO).

“When this kind of information comes to the surface, some people may get worried,” Muto said. “I want to say that we don’t think that way at all and that these articles are bogus.”

Muto also downplayed the significance of a poll released on Sunday signaling a further drop in Japanese public support for the Games.

Faced with a sharp local upsurge in coronavirus cases, Japan declared a state of emergency last week in Tokyo and its neighboring regions, which further reinforced public skepticism about the Olympics.

In the latest Kyodo news agency poll, 45% of those polled wanted the Games to be postponed a second time and 35% said they were in favor of outright cancellation.

Mr. Muto tried to put a positive spin on this poll: “The number of people asking for the Games to be postponed has increased a lot, but it means that these people still want the Games to be held.”

“Of course, for them to take place, we need to ensure that we have a safe Games with measures against the virus. If you think about it that way, I firmly believe that more and more people will come around to this idea ”.

The former great British rower Matthew Pinsent called on Monday to postpone the holding of the next summer Olympics, by organizing those in Tokyo in 2024, those in Paris in 2028 and those in Los Angeles in 2032.

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