As IOC preaches calm in wake of coronavirus, Japanese official indicates postponement of Olympics possible

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As the International Olympic Committee continues to express confidence that the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will go on as scheduled, a Japanese official on Tuesday raised the possibility that the event could be postponed to later in the year in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto told the country’s upper house of parliament that the contract for the Tokyo Games stipulates only that the event be held at some point during the calendar year, leaving open the possibility that it could be postponed to later in 2020. The Olympics are scheduled to run from July 24 through Aug. 9.

“The IOC has the right to cancel the Games only if they are not held during 2020,” Hashimoto told parliament, according to The Associated Press. “This can be interpreted to mean the Games can be postponed as long as they are held during the calendar year.”

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