Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated it will be impossible to host the Olympics even next year if the ongoing coronavirus pandemic cannot be contained till then. The 2020 edition of the multi-national event was pushed back to 2021 in wake of COVID-19 crisis that has hit the entire world.
Answering a question related to Olympics, Abe said it is important for all athletes and spectators to feel safe and for that to happen, the virus will have to be contained.
"We've been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained," Abe was quoted as saying by CNN.
Earlier, Tokyo Olympics chief had warned the event will have to be scrapped in case of further delay.
"In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped," Yoshiro Mori told Nikkan Sports when quizzed about pushing the Games further if needed.
Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be held in July-August this year but had to to postponed due to COVID-19 crisis. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) set the new dates as July 23 till August 8 next year.
The head of Japan Medical Association (JMA) had earlier said that hosting the event in the summer of 2021 remains difficult till the time an "effective vaccine' is developed.
"Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year," JMA President Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. "I'm not saying at this point that they shouldn't be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan ... it's a worldwide issue."