Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto is adamant that the Tokyo Games will be held next year “at any cost.”
“Everyone involved is working together to prepare and the athletes are also making considerable efforts towards next year,” she said, per BBC Sport.
“We have to hold the Games at any cost. I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.”
The Games were originally due to take place between July 24 and August 9 this year, but were postponed to July 23, 2021 in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the Olympics have been canceled in the past during the two World Wars, this marks the first time in the event’s modern history that it has been postponed.
The International Olympic Committee evidently share Hashimoto’s unwavering determination to ensure the Games are held next year.
On Monday, IOC vice-president John Coates told AFP the Olympics “will take place with or without COVID” in 2021.
Organizers are currently evaluating a variety of safety measures for athletes and spectators alike to ensure the event is able to proceed.
According to Reuters, on Tuesday, the J. League and Nippon Professional Baseball league jointly asked the Japanese government for permission to allow up to 20,000 fans into their stadiums, having successfully held games with 5,000 spectators since July 10.
There have been 1,393 deaths in Japan from more than 73,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Almost 900,000 people have died worldwide from coronavirus from over 27 million cases, per the BBC.