Japan PM, IOC chief to speak as Olympics hangs in balance

AFP Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Mar 24, 2020, 01.56 PM(IST)

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled to 2021 Photograph:( AFP )

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold telephone talks with International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach later Tuesday, the government said, as doubts swirl over the fate of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold telephone talks with International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach later Tuesday, the government said, as doubts swirl over the fate of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The call, which was also expected to feature Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, organising committee chief Yoshiro Mori and Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto, was scheduled for around 8pm local time (1100 GMT).

The contact comes after the IOC gave itself four weeks to weigh a possible postponement to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the new coronavirus pandemic surging across the world.

Canada and Australia have already withdrawn their teams and the influential US Olympic committee has also said postponement was the best way forward.

Despite coming under increasing pressure, IOC officials believe a decision would be "premature" four months from the scheduled opening ceremony on July 24.

Abe has said he is committed to hosting a "complete" Olympics but admitted for the first time on Monday: "If that becomes difficult, in light of considering athletes first, it may become inevitable that we make a decision to postpone."