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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Japan rebuts Olympic 'cancellation' talk despite coronavirus fears

Tokyo insists games will go ahead after IOC member says postponement not an option

The Tokyo Summer Games are scheduled to start in July, but the coronarvirus outbreak has sparked concerns over safety.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Suggestions by a senior International Olympics Committee member that the Tokyo Games could be canceled if the coronavirus outbreak is not contained by May drew a swift reaction from Japanese officials, while sponsoring companies are anxiously awaiting the fate of the world's biggest sporting event.

Comments by committee member Dick Pound regarding a possible cancellation "are not an official announcement by the IOC," Seiko Hashimoto, Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, told Japan's House of Representatives on Wednesday. The minister stressed that the IOC has told the Tokyo Organizing Committee that it is working to hold the Games in July as scheduled.

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