A senior Japanese ruling party official said cancelling this year’s Olympics in Tokyo remains an option if the coronavirus crisis becomes too dire, as a fourth wave of infections surges less than 100 days from the planned start of the Games.
“If it seems impossible to do it any more, then we have to stop, decisively,” Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, said in comments to broadcaster TBS.
Cancellation is “of course” an option, Nikai said. “If the Olympics were to spread infection, then what are the Olympics for?” he added.
A key backer of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, party heavyweight Nikai is known for his frank comments, which come as many other ruling party lawmakers have avoided discussing the hot button issue of a possible cancellation.
The world’s biggest sporting event has already been delayed by a year and is being held without international spectators.
Japan is grappling with rising coronavirus infections, with numbers trending higher in Tokyo after the government ended a state of emergency, and Osaka suffering a record number of cases.