Tokyo 2020 vice president unsure whether Games can be held in 2021

A top official from the Tokyo Olympic Games’ organizing committee said here on Friday that he is unsure whether the postponed 2020 Olympic Games can be held next summer.

Toshiaki Endo, one of the vice presidents of Tokyo 2020, was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying “Selecting athletes by around next March will be a major challenge. The organizing committee will need to make some kind of a decision considering the situation at that time.”

70-year-old Endo, also a former Olympic minister, added at a meeting of his Liberal Democratic Party, “There are still many estimates, and it is unclear what the new coronavirus situation will be next summer. It is still too early to discuss whether to hold (the games) or not.”

Edo was appointed in 2015 to oversee the Olympics preparations on behalf of the Japanese government.

His comments were the first in public by an executive member of the organizing committee about when a decision regarding the fate of the Games might be made, Kyodo said.

John Coates, chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission, told The Australian newspaper two weeks ago that October will be a critical period for assessing if the Olympics can take place.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters that Coates had denied such reports, but he admitted that many things will not become clear until autumn.

The Tokyo Olympics have been rescheduled from July 23 to August 8 next year and the Paralympic Games will be held between August 24 and September 5.