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Japan’s Abe says impossible to hold Olympics unless pandemic contained

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government postponed the Games last month until July 2021 because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. With the epidemic’s worldwide infection rate climbing and experts suggesting a vaccine is still a long way off, questions are being asked about whether the huge setpiece event might need to be delayed further.

“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” said Abe. He was replying to a query from an opposition lawmaker whether Tokyo could host the Games next year, after this year’s delay caused by the pandemic. Abe added that the Olympics “must be held in a way that shows mankind has won its battle against the coronavirus infectious disease. Otherwise, it will be hard to hold the Games.”

Tokyo confirmed 112 new infections on Tuesday, said national broadcaster. Numbers for Wednesday were not yet available. The national tally stands at 13,895 infections, including 413 deaths.

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