The Times reports that Japanese government “has privately concluded the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled”

Olympic contenders hit the water at WTS Edmonton. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Yesterday we reported that the viability of the Tokyo Olympic Games was in doubt – now The Times newspaper has posted a story with quotes from a source who says the “Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus, and that the focus is now on securing the Games for the city in the next available year, 2032.”

Tokyo is currently in a lockdown thanks to a surge in coronavirus cases, and recent polls have shown that 80 percent of the country’s residents are opposed to hosting the games during the pandemic. But this week IOC president Thomas Bach and the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga both made statements that the Games would be taking place this summer.

Bach told Kyodo news that there was no “plan B” for the Games and that there was “no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open … in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.”

The Games are scheduled to start on July 23, with the Paralympics scheduled to start on August 24.

At least two national Olympic committees have quickly come out with statements about the story – the Australian Olympic Committee posted this statement on Twitter:

AOC statement on Tokyo Olympic Games rumour:

“Both Japanese Prime Minister Suga and IOC President Bach have this week strongly reaffirmed their commitment to the Tokyo Olympic Games going ahead in July this year.”

👉— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) January 22, 2021

The Canadian Olympic Committee’s CEO, David Shoemaker, also posted a message on social media regarding the report:

Ironically both Canada and Australia were two of the first countries to pull out of the Games last year before the IOC officially postponed them.