No Tokyo Olympics beyond 2021: LOC chief

Tokyo 2020 Olympic flame

TOKYO: The Tokyo 2020 Olympics cannot be delayed beyond the year-long postponement already forced by the coronavirus outbreak, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori has made clear in comments published Thursday.

Mori said there is “absolutely no” chance of postponing the Games beyond their rescheduled July 23, 2021 opening, according to Kyodo News agency.

“Also thinking about athletes and issues over Games management, it is technically difficult to delay it by two years,” Mori was quoted as saying.

Mori said he had earlier asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe whether Japan should consider a two-year postponement but “the Prime Minister decided that one year is the way to go”.

Following the upending of the global political and economic system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan's Games organisers and the International Olympic Committee in March announced that the mega-event was being pushed back by exactly a year. 

Postponing the Games is a massive logistical undertaking, and expected to incur significant additional costs, AFP reports.

Kyodo News quoted Mori as saying the opening and closing ceremonies would need to undergo “drastic reviews” in order to cut costs, adding that organisers would ask the ceremonies’ directors to consider including a message about the coronavirus crisis.