Tokyo Olympics Postponed to 2021, Japan PM Says

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses Parliament in Tokyo, Japan, March 23, 2020. (Kyodo News/Handout via Xinhua)

TOKYO (Xinhua) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until no later than the summer of 2021, the Japanese leader said Tuesday.

After a phone conference with Bach, Abe told reporters that they will aim to hold the Olympics and Paralympics next year, putting an end to the two-months speculation of the Games’ future since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“I proposed to Mr. Bach that we postpone the Olympic Games for a year. He 100 percent agrees with me,” Abe said.

Abe also said the IOC is likely to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the postponement of the Tokyo Games.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said in a press conference that the postponed Games, to be held in summer 2021, will still be called 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The unprecedented delay will be a major blow to host Japan and is certain to have a cascade of economic, political and social ramifications apart from considerable logistical challenges, local media reported.