Also agrees with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s proposal to have the Games by next summer at the latest.

Last night, Japanese Prime Minister Shizao Abe placed a call from his official residence in Tokyo to IOC President Thomas Bach, proposing that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics be postponed in the face of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. The official website of the Tokyo Games, as well as Japanese national broadcaster NHK, have since confirmed that Bach expressed his agreement to the proposal during the phone conference.

During the 45-minute conversation, which also involved Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori, Abe and Bach mutually confirmed that they have no intention of canceling the Tokyo Olympics outright, only to delay their opening. “Based on the current situation, in order to hold a safe and secure Olympics for all those in attendance, and one in which the world’s athletes can compete in top condition, we, the hosting nation of Japan, would like the postponement of the Games, for up to a year, to be considered,” NHK quotes Abe as saying to Bach, to which the IOC official replied he was “in 100-percent agreement.”

The modern Olympics have been cancelled five times (once for World War I and four times for World War II), including the scrapped 1940 Summer and Winter Games which Japan had been selected to host in Tokyo and Sapporo, respectively. Tokyo 2020 would mark the first time for the Olympics to be postponed, but there’s still a sliver of hope that they won’t turn into the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, as during their conference Abe and Bach shared their commitment to holding the event in the summer of next year at the latest.

Sources: NHK News Web, Tokyo 2020 Olympics official website
Top image: Wikipedia/Arne Müseler
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