Games cancellation not ruled out as athletes get infected

    The Tokyo Olympics 2020 organizing committee chief says he would not rule out last minute cancellation of the Olympics as more athletes test positive for COVID-19 and major sponsors backed out from attending the opening ceremony on Friday.

    TOKYO — Toshiro Muto, Tokyo Olympics 2020 chief, says to monitor infection numbers and liaise with other organizers if necessary.

    “We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”

    Seiko Hashimoto, who sits alongside Muto as organizing committee president, says the safety measures introduced to reassure the Japanese public had not necessarily done so and that she was aware that popular support for the Games had dropped.

    “I really want to apologize from my heart for the accumulation of frustrations and concerns that the public has been feeling towards the Olympics,” says Hashimoto during the same news conference.

    Tokyo’s preparation will be tested a day before the opening ceremonies when Japan faces South Africa in men’s soccer tournament.

    The match is due to take place on Thursday with top sponsor Panasonic Corp. as well as Fujitsu Ltd. NEC Corp will skip from attending. Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corp. has dropped all TV ads linked to the Games on Monday. (MCP/The MiNT)

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