The head of Japan’s national Olympic committee said the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will push through, dismissing media reports saying the Japanese government has decided otherwise.
“We are planning how to hold a safe and secure Games in great detail, working closely with the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organisation,” Japan Olympic Committee chairman Yasuhiro Yamashita said in an interview.
It was earlier reported that the Japanese government has decided not to push through with the Games due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“It’s wrong and it’s ridiculous even having to comment on this,” Yamashita said of the reports.
Although the Japanese government has been pinning its hopes on a Covid-19 vaccine to make the Olympics hosting safer, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently said vaccinations were no longer a prerequisite for athletes to participate in the Games.
Yamashita, a gold medallist in judo at the 1984 Olympics, knows what it feels like to miss a Games since Japan boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics.
“I realized that I might have been the luckiest one of the athletes who missed out on the Moscow Olympics,” he said, as he went on to win gold in Los Angeles four years later.
“There must be people who are still hurt from having their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity taken from them,” he said.
Japan is spending close to $16 billion to host the Olympics. SOVEREIGNPH