Japan doing ‘everything possible’ to realize ‘safe and secure’ Tokyo Olympic Games

Photo taken April 6, 2021, shows the Olympic rings in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. North Korea said the same day that it will not take part in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to protect its athletes from the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Japan’s prime minister told US President Joe Biden Friday that the Asian nation would do everything in its power to contain Covid-19 infections and hold a “safe and secure” Olympic Games this year.

“Japan is listening to and learning from WHO (World Health Organization) and experts” and the country is doing its “utmost” to prepare for the Tokyo Games, Yoshihide Suga said at a joint press conference with Biden at the White House.

“They are doing everything possible to contain infection and to realize safe and secure games from scientific and objective perspectives,” Suga said.

“I expressed my determination to realize the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as a symbol of global unity this summer, and President Biden once again expressed his support,” the prime minister added.

After being postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Games are due to open in July.

But uncertainty about their viability has grown amid rising virus cases, and Suga’s pledge of safety comes as the coronavirus crisis has complicated preparations.

Organisers said Friday that they scrapped another leg of Japan’s Olympic torch relay — the third leg to be affected by a surge in infections — and that a BMX Freestyle test event scheduled for April 24 and 25 would now be postponed.