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IOC reiterates its determination to hold Tokyo Olympics this summer

Britain’s The Times reported earlier citing its unidentified high-ranking source in the Japanese government that the country’s authorities allegedly made a decision to cancel the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo over the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus

MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reiterated its determination to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer, the IOC press office announced to TASS on Friday.

Britain’s The Times reported earlier citing its unidentified high-ranking source in the Japanese government that the country’s authorities allegedly made a decision to cancel the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo over the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Together with its Japanese partners and friends, the IOC is fully concentrated on and committed to the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this year," the IOC stated to TASS.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) also issued a statement on Friday to rebuff media speculation about a possible cancellation of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan.

"The IPC, IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and all delivery partners are fully committed and focused on delivering safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer," the IPC statement reads. "This position has not changed and has been confirmed once again today by the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese government."

"Since last March’s postponement, everyone involved in the delivery of the Games has been working tirelessly to develop COVID-19 countermeasures and plans which we believe will mitigate the risk for the athletes, all Games stakeholders and, importantly, the Japanese public," the statement continued.

"In early February, the IOC, IPC and Tokyo 2020 will publish the first editions of Playbooks targeting Games stakeholders," according to the IPC statement. "These Playbooks will start to explain exactly how we aim to deliver this summer’s event and outline the personal responsibilities each person attending the Games must follow to ensure safe and secure Games."

Last March, the IOC (the International Olympic Committee) and the IPC (the International Paralympic Committee) announced a decision to postpone for one year the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan due to the continuous COVID-19 spread.

Yoshiro Mori, the head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organizing Committee, stated in late March last year that the Summer Olympic Games in Japan in 2021 would start on July 23 and the Summer Paralympic Games would begin on August 24.

The epidemiological situation in Japan began deteriorating last November gaining momentum in December and January.

As of today, Japan is ranked 39th in the world in terms of reported COVID-19 cases, which currently stand at 345,221. More than 4,740 people died of the novel coronavirus infection, while over 273,180 recovered from the illness.

On January 7, the Japanese government imposed a state of emergency in the 37.4 million metropolitan area of Greater Tokyo, which includes the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. The state of emergency was declared to be in force through February 7.