Japan, IOC agree to postpone Tokyo Olympics for one year
NHK -- Mar 24
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone this summer's Tokyo Olympics for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese leader said.

After speaking with Bach on the phone, Abe told reporters that they will aim to hold the Olympics and Paralympics next year in summer at the latest.

It is the first time ever that the quadrennial sporting event has been postponed.

The IOC will hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the postponement of the Tokyo Games, Abe said.

Following the teleconference with Bach, Abe said the Games would not be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but efforts would be made toward a roughly one-year postponement.

The unprecedented delay will be a major blow to host Japan and is certain to have a cascade of economic, political and social ramifications. It will also pose considerable logistical challenges to Olympic organizers.

The phone talks came amid mounting pressure from athletes and sports organizations to reschedule the Olympics due to the rapid spread of the virus, and just a day after Abe told parliament that the Summer Games cannot be held under the current circumstances, suggesting for the first time that they may have to be postponed.

Athletes have been struggling to train as gyms and other sports facilities have been closed since the virus that broke out in China late last year spread to all of the world's seven continents except Antarctica.

More than 380,000 people have been infected and over 16,000 who contracted the pneumonia-causing COVID-19 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

As the World Health Organization has warned that "the pandemic is accelerating," scores of Olympic qualifiers and major sports tournaments have been canceled, while countless travel restrictions have been imposed across the globe.

The IOC has said so far only 57 percent of athletes have been qualified for the forthcoming Games, although the Olympic flame was lit on March 12 in Greece as planned and it arrived in Japan on Friday.

電話会談で、東京オリンピックの延期を安倍総理大臣が要請し、IOCのバッハ会長と来年夏までに開催することで合意しました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Apr 08
Japan's prime minister has officially declared a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures to curb the spread of infections. (NHK)
Apr 08
Japan's Cabinet has approved emergency economic measures of record proportions to deal with the impact of the coronavirus. The package is worth about 108 trillion yen, or one trillion dollars. The government plans to issue additional bonds to help fund the spending. (NHK)
Apr 08
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says he intends to call on people to stay home even though there will be no police crackdown on violations. (NHK)
Apr 08
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has begun moving people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus but have only mild or no symptoms to a hotel. (NHK)
Apr 07
As Japan faces a fresh wave of coronavirus infections and the government prepares for a state of emergency, medical staff say a shortage of beds and a rise in cases linked to hospitals are pushing Tokyo's medical system to the brink of collapse. (Japan Today)
Apr 07
Health officials confirmed 143 new coronavirus cases in Tokyo and 16 prefectures on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 4,000. (NHK)
Apr 07
Japan's government is set to compile an emergency economic package of 108 trillion yen, or about one trillion dollars, to fight the impact of the coronavirus epidemic in the country. (NHK)
Apr 07
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to request the closure of entertainment facilities if the prime minister declares a state of emergency based on a coronavirus-related law. (NHK)
Apr 06
The governor of Tokyo has expressed alarm about the spread of the coronavirus as a daily record of 143 new cases was reported in the Japanese capital on Sunday. (NHK)
Apr 06
Another 143 people in Tokyo were confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus on Sunday. (NHK)