Tokyo Olympics Have Been Postponed to 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Confirms

Tanya Simon
March 25, 2020

"This will make it possible for athletes to play in the best condition, and will make the event a safe and secure one for spectators". The IOC announced this with a statement after the news anticipated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The price tag for the 2020 Games will increase due to being postponed, incurring additional labor costs and venue rental fees.

The announcement of the Games' postponement had come earlier in the day, and was perhaps accelerated on the back of International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound telling USA Today on Monday that the postponement was likely to happen, and following decisions by the Canadian and Australian Olympic committees to pull out of the Games' summer 2020 slot were they still to have gone ahead then.

"The IOC Athletes' Commission welcomes and fully supports the IOC's decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 until 2021 in order to protect the health of the athletes, as well as wider society", it said in a statement.

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"President Trump repeatedly said the postponement was a very wise and great decision and he expressed support for the Prime Minister's stance", chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, a leading spokesperson for the Japanese Government, said at a press conference, as reported by Kyodo News. The Summer Games will also continue to be called "Tokyo 2020", even as they are moved to 2021. Reports suggest the country has spent more than $12 billion on the Games, while huge sums are also at stake for sponsors and broadcasters.

© Provided by Associated Press Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, walks past Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, right, to attend a cabinet meeting at his official residence in Tokyo Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

If agreement is not reached on who will pick up the bill, it may ultimately need to be resolved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present", the IOC's Tuesday statement read.

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