Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has reached an agreement with President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled from July 24 to August 9 to 2021 amid coronavirus, according to Xinhua News Agency.
After Abe speaking with Bach on phone, the both parties reached an agreement and jointly announced to postpone Tokyo Olympic Games until no later than summer of 2021. “This decision is to safeguard health of athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the announcement said.
Canada and Australia announced in separate statements Monday not to send athletes to Tokyo Olympic Games because of the risks to get infected amid the coronavirus outbreak, calling Tokyo to cancel the Games.
After the two countries’ withdraws, the IOC weighed postponement. ”Postponement isn't our first course of action but we cannot not consider it as a realistic option either," Tokyo Olympic Committee President Yoshiro Mori said in a news conference Monday.
Abe said he hopes the pandemic to be over by next year and the Olympics can be held no later than summer 2021.
Olympic leaders said they wanted the Tokyo Games to "stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times." They decided to keep the Olympic flame in Japan and the Olympic Games to keep the name "Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."