Tokyo Olympics Could be Postponed Due to Coronavirus, Says Senior Official

A delay of one or two years would be the “most feasible” option if the Tokyo Olympics cannot be held as planned this year due to the global coronavirus outbreak, a member of the Organizing Committee’s executive board has said.

Haruyuki Takahashi, one of more than two dozen members of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board, who suggested the delay, said the Tokyo 2020 organizers had just started looking at scenarios for how the virus could affect the Games.

Takahashi had earlier told the Wall Street Journal that the board had not discussed the impact of the virus, having last met in December, before the epidemic had spread.

Organizers have been pushing a consistent message that the Games would not be cancelled or postponed, but sponsors — who have already pumped in billions of dollars for the Olympics — have grown increasingly nervous about how the coronavirus outbreak could impact the event.

Meanwhile, the final decision over whether or not to hold the Tokyo Olympics belongs to the powerful International Olympic Committee chief (IOC), Thomas Bach.

Bach gave his unequivocal backing to the Games ahead at last week’s Executive Board committee meeting in Switzerland.