Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympic Minister, opened the door to a delay of the Tokyo Olympics, planned for this summer.
With the coronavirus outbreak continuing to spark fears across the world, Hashimoto suggested the Olympics could be pushed back to later in 2020. “We are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned,” Hashimoto said, but pointed out that Tokyo’s contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stipulates that the competition be held by the end of 2020. According to Hashimoto, that clause “could be interpreted as allowing a postponement.”
As of now, the Olympics are scheduled to be held between July 24 and Aug. 9. The only body with the right to cancel the Olympics outright is the IOC. A number of high-profile sporting events have already been canceled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, including the World Athletics Indoor Athletics Championships and the Chinese Grand Prix, which was scheduled for April 19.