Olympics to go as scheduled, says Japan PM amid COVID-19 outbreak

On Friday (March 13), Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto shot down Trump’s suggestion of deferring the event

Shinzo Abe, Japan, India and Japan ties
The hawkish Abe was one of the nation's most divisive postwar leaders, but it is the ruling party's cozy ties with the ultra-conservative Unification Church that has fired up much of the opposition to the funeral | File Image

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday (March 14) said that Japan is going to continue its preparations to host this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, despite the outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the globe.

Addressing a press conference, Abe said that he has not discussed about the delay or cancellation of the Summer Games, due to start in July, during a telephonic call with the US President Donald Trump.

The decision comes in the wake of the fast spreading COVID-19 claiming 4,955 lives and infecting about 1,32,758 people around the world.

Related news: Japanese Olympic minister shoots down Trump’s postponement idea

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On Friday (March 13), Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto shot down Trump’s suggestion of deferring the event, while reiterating their message of the Games starting as scheduled.

“The IOC and the organising committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement absolutely not at all,” Hashimoto told during a press conference.

A cancellation or postponement will ripple in thousands of directions, hitting sponsor, television, 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes, staff, airlines, hotels, and $1 billion lost in ticket sales. It also hurts 80,000 unpaid volunteers who will miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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