A top member of Japan’s ruling party stated that the Tokyo Olympics could get cancelled due to the recent coronavirus cases spike in the country, media reported Thursday.
“We need to cancel without hesitation if it’s no longer possible,” Jiji Press agency said to Toshihiro Nikai as saying. “If infections spread because of the Olympics, I don’t know what the Olympics is for,” Nikai added. Nikai is the Liberal Democratic Party’s secretary-general and second most powerful figure.
These statements were reportedly made during the recording of a television programme.
“It’s important for Japan to foster excitement with support from the public, and it’s an opportunity,” quoted the Mainichi newspaper. “We definitely want to make it a success,” Nikai added, according to the daily, while warning “there are many issues to solve.”
The statements come 99 days before the pandemic-postponed Games open on July 23, and with increasing concern in Japan about a spike in virus cases. Documenting the numbers of infections that have been reported in Osaka in recent days, the government has been forced to empower new restrictions just weeks after lifting a virus state of emergency.
The Coronavirus surge has already made the Olympic torch relay off public roads in Osaka, and a city in western Japan also declared Wednesday that it would cancel the public event.