Tokyo 2021 will happen ‘at any cost’, says Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto

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Tokyo: Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Tuesday (September 8), the postponed Tokyo Olympics will take place in 2021 ‘at any cost’, as per reports in Japan Times. “I think we have to hold the games at any cost,” she said. “I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.”

Tokyo Olympics organising committee CEO Toshiro Muto said last week that vaccine is not necessary to hold the game. IOC vice-president John Coates on Monday (September 7) told AFP, “These will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“It will take place with or without COVID. The (Tokyo) Games will start on July 23 next year,” Coates said. “We can tell you that the IOC is fully committed to celebrating the games of the 32nd Olympiad next year in Tokyo,” organising committee spokesman Masa Takaya said on Tuesday (September 8). “We have begun formulating the concrete steps we will take.”

The authorities and the government gathered last week to plan for safety measures against the COVID-19. The panel will deal with every possible measure including bringing athletes to Japan, quarantines, COVID-19 testing, keeping the venue safe from the virus. They will also discuss if fans will be allowed and if non-Japanese fans will be among them.

Organisers have provided few details on how 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes along with thousands of staff members, technical officials will remain safe in Tokyo. The starting date is July 23, 2021. A study released by Oxford University this week shows that the Tokyo Olympics is the most expensive in history, ever since 1960.

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