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Tokyo 2020 vows to focus on new dates amid doubt over COVID-19 vaccine

2020-04-28 16:11:00 Xinhuanet

TOKYO, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said here on Tuesday that the organizers will be focused on delivering the Olympic Games on the new dates in 2021 even though an effective coronavirus vaccine is not yet available.

Asked by several reporters at an online briefing, Takaya said, "We have been addressing the question frequently, but we have the same answer. We have the new dates. Our mission is to deliver the games on the new dates which have been set."

But he admitted that organizing committee will work closely with the IOC, the World Health Organization (WHO), local health authorities and other stakeholders to discuss the epidemic.

"We do have a framework to exchange ideas regularly," he said. "We will continue to work closely and study necessary measures (on the coronavirus)."

Japan Medical Association President Yoshitake Yokokura said earlier that it will be difficult to hold the Olympics without an effective coronavirus vaccine.

Takaya added that the content of the Olympic and Paralympic Games opening and closing ceremonies will change because of the postponement.

"The original ceremony plan was meant for the Games in the summer of 2020. It had been discussed for a long time even before the epidemic. Now the Games have been postponed, the situation has completely changed.

"We have to review the content of the ceremony."

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori had proposed to incorporate a message about the coronavirus pandemic into the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games next year.

Takaya said there is still no "concrete plan" for next year's ceremonies. "We will keep discussing how the ceremonies will be held in the new environment in the summer of 2021." Enditem

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