The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic casts a shadow over the possibility of hosting the Tokyo Olympics. This was told in an interview to RBC by an epidemiologist, professor at Kobe University, a former scientific adviser to the Japanese authorities, Kentaro Iwata. According to him, for the Games it is necessary to fulfill two conditions. “First, Japan must defeat the coronavirus, and secondly, the virus must be suppressed in other countries. It may be possible to fulfill the first condition by next year. The second condition? I’m very pessimistic about this, ”he said.
As Iwata noted, next year Japan is likely to be able to hold events at the regional level, but not competitions of the scale of the Olympic Games. “A lot of people from different countries take part in the Olympics, which is not very consistent with the conditions in which we are now and, most likely, we will continue to be in the next year,” the epidemiologist said. Earlier, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said that the games will be canceled if they cannot be held in 2021. “I think this is the most likely scenario at the moment,” Iwata said.
The Summer Olympic Games were to be held from July 24 to August 9 of this year, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the competition was postponed until next summer. Moreover, in the IOC reportedthat the games can still be canceled and a final decision on this issue will be made in October. If the competition cannot be held in 2021, it will have to be canceled, and the next Summer Games will be held in Paris in 2024, pointed out in the IOC.
Japanese Economic Recovery Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura notedthat Japan will make every effort to host the Olympics next year. Earlier, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that, deciding on the competition, Tokyo will guided by interests of athletes. May 25th Abe saidthat the important conditions for the Games will be the emergence of new methods of treatment of coronavirus and success in the development of a vaccine.