Japan’s government has privately concluded the Tokyo Olympics will have to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Times reported, citing an unnamed senior member of the ruling coalition.
The government’s focus is now on securing the Games for Tokyo in the next available year, 2032, the newspaper said.
Japan has been hit less severely by the pandemic than many other advanced economies, but a recent surge in cases has spurred it to close its borders to non-resident foreigners and declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and major cities.
About 80% of people in Japan do not want the Games to be held this summer, recent opinion polls show, over fears the influx of athletes will spread the virus further.
Against this backdrop, the government is seeking a way to save face by announcing a cancellation that leaves the door open to Tokyo hosting at a later date, The Times report said.