Japan is ready to give its consent to postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for up to one year due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported on Tuesday citing government sources.
According to the paper, it would be problematic to delay the event for two years, because in this case it will be held close to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, TASS reports.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a phone conversation with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Tuesday to discuss the Tokyo games.
The 2020 Olympics are scheduled for July 24-August 9. On Monday, head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee Yoshiro Mori confidently announced that the Olympics will not be cancelled altogether, but conceded that there is a possibility that the Games will be postponed. On Sunday, IOC President Thomas Bach said that the decision to possibly postpone the Olympics will be made within four weeks.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia. On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic.