Abe pledges Japan will hold Olympic and Paralympic Games “without problems” despite virus fears

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has insisted the country will host this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games “without problem as planned”, despite growing international concern over the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a press conference today, Abe refused to waver from the stance adopted by Japanese officials and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Tokyo 2020 will take place as scheduled.

The COVID-19 virus, which has so far killed more than 5,600 people and infected over 150,000 worldwide, has spread to over 130 countries, fuelling speculation and suggestions the Olympics and Paralympics will be postponed or cancelled.

The Greek leg of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay was cancelled this week, while numerous events, including Olympic qualifiers and test events, have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

But Tokyo 2020 and the IOC have repeatedly insisted the Olympics will open as planned on July 24.

“We will overcome the spread of the infection and host the Olympics without problem as planned,” Abe said.

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