Japan's Olympics minister: 'I think we have to go ahead with the games'
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Japan’s Olympics minister on Tuesday said the already rescheduled 2020 Games must take place next year, despite concerns over the coronavirus.

The event was postponed from this summer due to the pandemic and is slated to take place in 2021.

“The athletes are all working towards the event next year. By all means necessary, I think we have to go ahead with the games,” Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said at a press conference Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal

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His remarks came one day after International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates, who heads the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told AFP that the games “will take place with or without COVID[-19],” the Journal notes. 

The Olympic Committee had faced growing calls to postpone the summer games before making the final call to postpone the games in March. Guidelines for athletes, spectators and officials are scheduled to be compiled before the end of the year, the Journal reported. 

Organizers will look to put measures in place as the virus continues to infect people worldwide.

The coronavirus has infected more than 27 million people and killed more than 893,000 globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In Japan, the government has reported more than 72,000 coronavirus cases and 1,384 fatalities.