Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been postponed from July 24 to the summer of next year amid the increasing concerns of coronavirus outbreak. However, the official statement did not mention the updated schedule of the games. Before an official confirmation, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said on March 24 that after his talks with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on March 24, they have agreed on postponing the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by one year.
The Games have not been cancelled but will take place by the summer of 2021. The Olympic Flame which arrive in Tokyo last week would still remain at the same place. After previously resisting the request by several officials around the world, Abe has said that the delaying of the event has now become unavoidable if the 2020 Games cannot be held in a complete manner amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The official statement read, "In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
Joint Statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committeehttps://t.co/XNcaa4Gvx8— Olympics (@Olympics) March 24, 2020
Until a few days ago, the IOC, Tokyo organising committee and the Japanese government had insisted that there would be no plans to delay the event considering that they were not due to open for another four months. But now, Abe had proposed a one-year postponement and Bach has agreed after their telephonic conversation. The fate of Tokyo Olympics 2020 had started rounding up when both Canada and Australia said that they would not send athletes to Japan to participate in the games that were scheduled to start on July 24. Moreover, the British and French governments were also mounting pressure on the IOC to make a quick decision.
After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021. pic.twitter.com/ihe8To2g3R— PM's Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) March 24, 2020
Just a day before Japanese PM announced the postponing of Olympics, US President Donald Trump had showcased his confidence in Abe and called him a “great friend”. Trump even applauded Japanese PM for doing a “magnificent” job in deciding the venue for the Olympics and assured that he will make a “proper decision”. As most authorities had started calling for postponing the Olympics, even the US President had suggested that it should be delayed to next year while keeping in mind the crisis caused by the pandemic that has taken at least 17,100 lives worldwide.
Earlier, Trump had even suggested an 'idea' that Tokyo Olympics 2020 should be postponed for a year. While expressing his opinions on the arrangement of the event, the US President said that the event, which was scheduled to begin in July, should be delayed because he would “like that better than having empty stadiums all over the place”. However, according to reports, the US President has also said that he does not plan on making the recommendation to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.