Tokyo Olympic should be held “at any cost,” says Olympic Minister

Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said Tokyo Olympic should be held next year “at any cost”. Hashimoto, appointed in September 2019, said the preparations of athletes was her motivation. Tokyo Olympic has been moved back to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic but doubts remain about the Olympic and Paralympic Games going ahead safely with the impact of COVID-19 in 2021 still uncertain.

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“All the people complicated with the Games are working together to make, and the athletes are also making substantial efforts toward next year under the conditions they’ve been handed,” supposed Hashimoto in a news conference.

I think we have to grip the Games at any cost. I want to distillate all our efforts on events in contradiction of the coronavirus. Hashimoto was replying to remarks made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president and the head of the IOC’s Tokyo Olympic Coordination Commission, John Coates.

Yesterday, the Australian claimed that the Olympics “will take place with or without COVID. Hashimoto has the most Olympic appearances of any Japanese athlete, representing the country as a speed skater in four consecutive Winter Games from 1984 to 1994 and as a cyclist in three consecutive Summer Games from 1988 to 1996.

She won a bronze medal in the 1500 meters speed skating event at Albertville 1992. Hashimoto was also Japan’s Chef de Mission at two Winter Olympic Games – Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 – and one Summer Games when she fulfilled the role in Rio 2016.

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She is also President of the Japan Skating Federation. Initially scheduled for July 24 to August 9 this year, the Olympics are now scheduled to take place between July 23 and August 8, 2021. The Paralympics are then planned from August 24 to September 5.

A Japanese Government panel held its first meeting on Friday to plan steps to counter the pandemic if the Games go ahead. This was in coordination with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee and was headed by Kasuhiro Sugita.

There is the aim of producing robust countermeasures by the end of the year, while a scaled-back and more frugal Games has been promised. A further four meetings are expected to take place before the end of November.

Issues due to being discussed include travel restrictions for foreign athletes, anti-virus measures at the Athletes’ Village and Games venues, and how to handle spectators. Tokyo Olympic spokesman Masa Takaya did not share the same overwhelming optimism as Hashimoto, but he did state that he believed work was heading in the right direction.

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Japan has been boosted by sporting events being held worldwide, albeit under strict restrictions. There continues to be the talk of allowing more fans into stadiums in the country for baseball and football matches, but that has yet to be implemented.

“This has been a big, big reassurance for the staff members of Tokyo Olympic,” supposed Takaya.

We texture that is another step towards where we can see sports in the act in our society. Japan now denies entry to people from 146 countries and areas as part of its fight in contradiction of the coronavirus pandemic. Those who are allowable to enter are requested to spend two weeks in quarantine. Predictably, around 11,000 athletes from more than 200 nations and lands will compete at the Olympics in Tokyo.

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