By Joe Apu
Fresh fears have emerged threatening the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer owing to the fresh spikes of the coronavirus.
Reports monitored on Reuters revealed that a Japanese cabinet minister on Thursday raised the new concerns, saying the host needs to be ready for anything.
On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that an extended coronavirus state of emergency to seven more districts of the country’s main island, specifically to Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Tochigi and Fukuoka prefectures, according to CNN.
In total, 11 districts are now under emergency orders, after one was previously declared for Tokyo and its three nearby prefectures: Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, set to last until February 7.
“We need to do the best we can to prepare for the Games at this moment, but it could go either way,” Taro Kono, administrative and regulatory reform minister, said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.
A global COVID-19 resurgence, including record infection levels in Japan, has raised fresh doubts about the Games, which were postponed by a year in 2020.
The Japanese public’s appetite for the sporting extravaganza has waned, with 77% of respondents in a survey this week saying it should be cancelled or postponed.
But the Games – and the tourism dollars they bring – are a top priority for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.