Tokyo Olympic officials fret over coronavirus pandemic declaration

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike: concerned about fate of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike: concerned about fate of 2020 Olympics

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike expressed concerns over the fate of 2020 Olympics after the World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

Koike told reporters that she worries that the WHO declaration could affect discussions over the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics.

But Koike said emphatically, “There is no way that the Olympics will be cancelled when considering the feelings of Japanese people and the preparations up to this point that we have done.”

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The governor said she believes it is up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which knows every detail of the preparations, to make a final decision.

The WHO declaration comes about four and a half months before the Olympics, which start on July 24.

However, the Japanese government said the country will continue to prepare for the Games as scheduled. About 11,000 athletes are expected to participate in the Games. The Paralympics are due to start on August 25.