Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, often floated as a future Japanese premier, said on Monday the Olympics must go ahead next year as a symbol of world unity in overcoming the novel coronavirus, even as her city grapples with stubborn spikes in cases.
Japan has not seen an explosive coronavirus outbreak as suffered in some other places but a recent increase in cases in Tokyo, which accounts for more than a third of its more than 20,000 total, has fanned worries about a second wave of infections.
The 2020 Olympics were scheduled to start this month but were postponed because of the coronavirus. Koike has pledged to win public support for the Games, although a media survey showed a majority think they should be cancelled or postponed again.
“I want to host them as a symbol of the world coming together to overcome this tough situation and of strengthened bonds among humankind,” Koike told Reuters in an online interview.
She declined to specify a deadline for deciding if the Games could go ahead.