Japan is only insisting the Olympics will go ahead, to get the 2032 Games out of sympathy - report
- Japan is only insisting the Olympics will happen this year so that when they're eventually cancelled, they'll be given the 2032 Games out of sympathy.
- The Times reported on Thursday that the Japanese government had privately agreed to cancel the Games for a second time.
- A source said: "They want to show that they are ready to go, so that they will get another chance in 11 years."
- Japan and the IOC have denied that the 2020 Games will be cancelled.
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The Times reported late on Thursday that the Japanese government had privately agreed to cancel the Games for a good due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is intending to instead host them in 11-years time.
With the 2024 Games already awarded to Paris, and 2028 being hosted in Los Angeles, 2032 is the next available date when the Games doesn't have a host city.
"No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it's too difficult," a senior member of the ruling coalition told The Times. "Personally, I don't think it's going to happen."
According to The Times' report: "The aim now is to maintain the facade of battling determinedly to go ahead in the hope that when they are inevitably cancelled the 2032 Games will be given to Tokyo out of sympathy."
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has since denied the report, insisting the Games will go ahead as planned, however the source told The Times such denial is simply to keep up appearances.
"Suga is not emotionally invested in the Games," the source said. "But they want to show that they are ready to go, so that they will get another chance in 11 years. In these circumstances, no one could really object to that."
The decision to postpone the Games last year came after both Australia and Canada announced that they would not send athletes to Tokyo amid the pandemic.
The source added that the same will likely happen again this time around once a big nation such as the United States eventually drops out.
"If someone like President Biden was to say that US athletes cannot go, then we could say, 'Well, now it is impossible'," they said.
Tokyo and 10 of Japan's prefectures are currently in a state of emergency due to of record infection rates, with restaurants and bars forced to close from 8 p.m..
Foreign visitors are also currently banned from entering the country.
The Olympics are set to commence on July 23.
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