2021 Tokyo Olympics Could Still Be Canceled amid COVID-19, per Japanese Official

Adam WellsApril 15, 2021

A logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen during a press event of a traditional crafts collection in Tokyo on April 15, 2021. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)
YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Three months away from the Opening Ceremonies, the Tokyo Olympics still aren't guaranteed to take place. 

Per Mari Yamaguchi and Yuri Kageyama of the Associated Press, Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, recently said on TBS TV in the country that "of course" a cancellation remains possible. 

“If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely canceled,” Nikai said. “If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics.”

Nikai did emphasize that it's "important for Japan to have a successful Olympics," but the country still has "many issues to resolve" before it can be pulled off. 

Yoshiro Mori, president of Tokyo 2020, told reporters in April 2020 that the Games "will be canceled" if it's not possible to hold them within the July 23-Aug. 8 timeframe.

Tokyo has experienced a rise in COVID-19 infections lately, with the city reporting a two-month high of 729 new cases on Thursday. It's also been averaging 523.4 new cases per day over the past seven days. 

Reuters reported on April 3 that a hospital in Tokyo had "around" 70 percent of COVID patients carrying a mutation of the virus, nicknamed Eek, that is known for reducing vaccine protection. 

The International Olympic Committee and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in March 2020 that the Games were officially postponed due to the pandemic. 

One week later, the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced the Games had been moved to starting July 23 and ending Aug. 8. 

As of Thursday, there are just 99 days remaining until the scheduled start date for the Tokyo Games.