“If current situation continues, we couldn’t” host, Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
On Thursday, Japan recorded more than 830 new coronavirus cases, setting a new daily high for the country a day after beating the old record. Since January, Japan has confirmed more than 28,700 cases and 1,005 deaths related to covid-19.
Japan lifted its state of emergency two months ago after containing an initial coronavirus outbreak. But under pressure to reopen the economy, the government has said it won’t return to major shutdowns even as cases in this second wave continue to rise.
The numbers in Japan remain low compared to hot spots such as the United States and Brazil. The number of serious cases in the latest wave, at least so far, has remained small, with more aggressive testing in place.
With so much uncertainty over the trajectory of the pandemic and the progress of vaccine efforts, it remains impossible to predict what life will look like in Tokyo in a year’s time.
Publicly, organizers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics remain largely upbeat. But they have not commented on whether fans will be able to attend the rescheduled events or if there are plans to quarantine participants.
“It would be too much for us to answer each of these hypothetical questions,” Mori said Wednesday. “I don’t think this situation will last for another year.”
He added, “Whether the Olympics can be done or not is about whether humanity can beat the coronavirus. Specifically, to develop a vaccine or drug is the first point.”
If the competition cannot not be held next summer, organizers said they would cancel it entirely rather than postpone once more.