On 24 March 2020, the Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games were due to be held from July 24 to August 9.
The rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are due to start on Friday 23 July and end on Sunday 8 August.
There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about whether or not the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead as planned this summer. Here's what we know so far.
When will the Olympic Games take place?
The rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are due to start on Friday 23 August and end on Sunday 8 August.
The rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are due to start on Friday 23 August and end on Sunday 8 August, but at the moment, there's a lot of speculation over whether or not the Games will go ahead as planned. Following an article published by The Times, in which an unnamed government official said it would be 'too difficult' to hold the Olympics this summer, in response, Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai told Reuters said there was no truth to the reports.
Tokyo 2020 organisers also responded with a statement declaring that Japan's prime minister Yoshihide Suga had 'expressed his determination' to hold the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.
On Thursday 11 January, Japanese cabinet minister Taro Kono said, 'We need to do the best we can to prepare for the Games at this moment, but it could go either way'.
A recent survey conducted by Kyodo News found that around 80 per cent of Japanese people wanted this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games to be cancelled or postponed.
Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Kevan Gosper spoke out on the ABC programme The Ticket, suggesting that the organisation could seek to involve the United Nations in deciding whether or not it is safe for the Games to take place.
However, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 officials have said the Olympics cannot be postponed again. President Yoshirō Mori said preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics, 'have to proceed as planned'.
Speaking on BBC Scotland's The Nine, Masa Takaya, a spokesperson for Tokyo 2020, said, 'Our position remains - we will deliver the Games.
'We are not willing to see the Games taking place behind closed doors. We obviously want to see as many spectators as possible inside the venues, which is why we have been working tightly with the Japanese government and all international stakeholders, spearheaded by the IOC.
'We will see in spring how we can accommodate spectators inside the venues. We also have to see what guidance we get from the government regarding spectators and look at the situation around sports, both internationally and nationally.'
When asked about the poll taken by the Japanese people, Takya said it was just one of many polls, 'Most recent surveys show people want the Games to be re-postponed, but in that trend we see that people are willing to see the Games go ahead in some form, which is why we want to keep conveying how we are able organise the Games in this situation'.
He also said the Games would go ahead with or without a vaccine; 'our counter measures on Covid-19 are working under the assumption that we will not have a vaccine, so even if we do not, our plan is that we will be able to deliver the Games'.
Will spectators be allowed into the Games?
President Yoshirō Mori has said a decision regarding spectators will be made in March.
What else do we know?
While we're still waiting on more information, this week Tokyo 2020 told Agence France-Presse that the number of athletes at the opening and closing ceremonies would be restricted. A spokesperson said, 'In order to ensure the safety and security of the athletes and simplify operations at the Tokyo 2020 Games, we believe it is necessary to reconsider the number of participants at the Opening and Closing ceremonies and how they will enter the stadium'.
Around 11,000 athletes s are expected to take part in the Games, so restricting numbers at the ceremonies might be an essential part of ensuring social distancing measures can take place.
As well as this, organisers have announced further measures to keep athletes safe, including rules around when athletes enter and depart the Athletes' Village. It is thought athletes will arrive in the Athletes' Village no more than five days prior to their event and leave a maximum of two days afterwards. Where possible, athletes will be expected to acclimatise in training camps around Japan, rather than in the Tokyo Olympic Games Village itself.
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