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Olympics may still be canceled, head Tokyo organizer says

Toshiro Muto, head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, left the door open on canceling the games during a press conference Tuesday.
Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, pictured at left in this May file photo,  left the door open on canceling the games the during a news conference Tuesday.
Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, pictured at left in this May file photo, left the door open on canceling the games the during a news conference Tuesday. [ NICOLAS DATICHE | AP ]
Published Jul. 21
Updated Jul. 21

The head organizer of the Tokyo Olympics said the Games may still be canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Toshiro Muto, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, left the door open on canceling the games the during a press conference Tuesday.

“We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases,” Muto said. “So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases. We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”

Polling in Japan has shown a majority of the public does not want the Olympics to happen during the pandemic and does not think the organizers will be able to handle increases in cases.

Muto’s comments come as a number of American athletes have withdrawn from the Olympics over COVID-19 concerns or outright infections. At least 71 support staffers at the Olympics have already tested positive and cases in Tokyo and Japan are rising independent of the Olympics.

Spectators have already been barred from attending events.

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