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Tokyo Olympics head: 'We are not thinking about canceling the games'

Tokyo Olympics head: 'We are not thinking about canceling the games'
© Clive Rose/Getty Images

The head of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday said that they are not considering canceling the games despite a rise of coronavirus cases in Japan.

“There are a variety of concerns but as the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee we are not thinking about canceling the games,” organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said, according to The Associated Press.

The comments come after a Japanese official said on Thursday that it was possible that the games could still be canceled.

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“If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely canceled,” Toshihiro Nikai, the second-highest-ranking official in Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said. “If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics.”

The 2020 Tokyo Games had to be postponed last summer due to the global pandemic. and the country has been working to try to ensure that the games can safely continue this year, but some are skeptical that it is possible due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Japan.

The country has already preemptively banned all international spectators from the games and is considering banning spectators altogether.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said there is “no change to the government position to do everything to achieve safe and secure Olympics” after Nikai ruled out the possibility of the games being canceled, according to AP.

The games are slated to start this summer and officials for the Olympics are encouraging athletes to get vaccinated before then, though it is not a requirement to participate in the games.