- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 3, 2021

The head of the Tokyo Summer Games organizing committee said Thursday the Olympics won’t be canceled or moved again and that events could proceed without spectators if there is a sudden surge in coronavirus cases.

“I can’t postpone it again,” committee Chairwoman Seiko Hashimoto told Nikkan Sports in an interview 50 days before the games begin.

The games are forging ahead despite public outcry over virus surges in Japan, which is playing catchup in its vaccine rollout after a slow start.

Ms. Hashimoto acknowledged that Japanese citizens feel “insecure” about the virus situation. 

But she said people will come around as the vaccine rollout improves and they get a better look at safety precautions when the events begin in late July.

Foreign spectators are banned from venues and organizers are expected to announce caps on Japanese fans this month.

She said it is possible attendance by spectators will be scrapped entirely but does not that decision would degrade athletes’ performance.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Ms. Hashimoto doubled down on her belief the games will not be scrapped after a year-long delay: “I believe that the possibility of these Games going on is 100% that we will do this.”

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