Japan's Olympic minister insists they are still planning for 'complete' Tokyo Games despite coronavirus

Tokyo 2020 will now be in July 2021 (PA Images)
11:51am, Tue 17 Mar 2020
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Japan's Olympic minister believes a 'complete' Tokyo 2020 Games is still realistic despite the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Yesterday, the number of cases in China was overtaken for the first time by the wave of positive tests from everywhere else in the world, with more than 87,000 people now infected outside of China.

Yet despite the spread of the virus continuing to multiply at a rapid rate, Japan's minister in charge of the Games this summer remains optimistic.

"A complete Olympics is what we are aiming for," said Seiko Hashimoto.

"We will do our utmost to prepare [to hold the Olympics] as scheduled so that the International Olympic Committee will be convinced we are capable of hosting the games."

The International Olympic Committee are meeting today to discuss plans for the Games as well as qualifying events which have been postponed or cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Japanese leg of the Olympic torch relay is due to begin on March 26 in Fukushima, but the Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto did reveal last week that they will be scaling back some of the route because of coronavirus.

Welcome and departure ceremonies for the torch relay have been scrapped, although spectators will still be able to line the streets to watch it pass where they live.

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