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13 Mar, 2020 10:48

'Absolutely not': Japan reacts to Donald Trump’s calls to postpone Olympics amid coronavirus pandemic

'Absolutely not': Japan reacts to Donald Trump’s calls to postpone Olympics amid coronavirus pandemic

Officials in Japan have said they have no plans to delay or cancel the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, in response to President Donald Trump’s suggestion to postpone the tournament due to the global virus pandemic.

The IOC and the organizing committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement – absolutely not at all,” Japan’s Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Friday.

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As best we can – so athletes will have no confusion or uncertainty – we will put in our maximum effort,” she added.

On Thursday, Donald Trump suggested postponing the summer sports spectacle for one year as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the dangerous Covid-19 infection.

I just can’t see having no people there [at the 2020 Summer Olympics]. In other words, not allowing people,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Maybe, and this is just my idea, maybe they postpone it for a year.”

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The idea of rescheduling the upcoming multi-sport competition could be very costly for the Tokyo Games organizers, with tickets and television broadcast rights having already been sold.

Postponement of the games would bring huge losses to the country’s economy as well as to investors and sponsors who have poured great  sums of money into the upcoming Olympics.

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Despite Japan’s assurance to hold the Games as planned, the possibility of canceling the tournament has been one of the most discussed topics throughout the world, where many top competitions, including world championships and world cups have already been delayed or canceled.