Tokyo Olympics cancellation remains an option, says top Japanese politician

Leading Japanese politician, Toshihiro Nikai, has said the Olympic Games in Tokyo could be cancelled if it risks a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Tokyo Olympics cancellation remains an option, says top Japanese politician

Cancelling the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics remains an option, according to a top official from Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The Games, which were postponed last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, are set to take place between 23 July and 8 August, with the Paralympics following from 24 August until 5 September.

Idea is for the Olympics to go ahead this summer

The health crisis continues to cause issues for nations across the globe but the message from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has thus far been that the show will go on.

International fans are banned from attending, and social-distancing measures, track-and-trace systems and temperature checks will be enforced. With experts in Japan warning the country has entered a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, the secretary general of the LDP, Toshihiro Nikai, said cancelling the Games remains a possibility. 

"If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely cancelled," Nikai told TBS TV. "If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics."

Asked if cancellation was still an option, he added: "Of course."

A recent poll conducted by Japanese news agency Kyodo News revealed that 39.2% of respondents want the Games to be cancelled, with 32.8% in favour of it being delayed again.